August 1, 2008
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ed Schafer today announced matching grants totaling $1.3 million awarded in 24 states and territories to support agricultural market research.
"Farmers are the first important part in the chain of food production, and these USDA matching grants support new and practical links from farm to market," said Schafer.
Funded projects in Kentucky and Utah will promote the sheep industry. Identifying new niche market opportunities for sheep and goat products through direct marketing to Hispanic consumers and retails will be examined in Kentucky while exploratory research to document and assess the market for sheep meat in the western United States will take place in Utah.
The American Sheep Industry Association and the Utah Wool Growers Association provided the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food letters of support for this project to promote mutton, thereby adding value to older ewes.