ASI Awarded Portion of $196 Million Export Allocation
April 18, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that more than $196 million worth of funding would be given to more than 60 U.S. agriculture organizations to help expand commercial export markets for U.S. agriculture-products overseas.

The 2014 fiscal year allocations will be administered under the Foreign Agricultural Service's Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.

The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) received funding in both program areas resulting in awards of $421,340 and $123,798 for MAP and FMD, respectively.

"This is extremely important funding for the U.S. wool industry as it continues to explore new markets. The programs are particularly effective when investigating markets that are either high-risk or developing," commented Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI's director of international wool marketing.

The MAP program shares the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities that help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities. ASI uses this funding for projects such as top-combing and scouring trials, trade show participation, trade missions and reverse-trade missions.

The FMD program focuses on trade servicing and trade capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products. This program enables U.S. exporters to provide foreign importers with wool samples.