June 18, 2004
June 18, 2004 -- On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced fiscal year 2004 allocations totaling $161,267,500 to 71 U.S. trade organizations to promote U.S. agricultural products overseas. This provision includes three Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) programs: Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development (FMD) Cooperator Program and Quality Samples Program (QSP).
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) was awarded $835,286 with allocations at the following levels per program: MAP, $285,358; FMD, $219,928; and QSP, $330,000.
?The sheep industry made a strong showing with positive results from these programs in the past years, which is evident with the continued funding from USDA again this year,? said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI wool marketing director. ?In comparison, this is a two-percent decrease for ASI from last year?s level. However, we did receive a considerable increase of $200,000 the year before.?
The MAP program utilizes matching organizational funds as a way to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities. ASI uses these funds toward projects like top-combing and scouring trials, trade show participation, trade missions and reverse trade missions.
The FMD Cooperator Program focuses on reducing market impediments and identifying new markets or uses for U.S. products while QSP funds provide samples of agricultural commodities to foreign importers so that U.S. agribusinesses can develop new business partnerships overseas.
Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ext. 29