August 29, 2008
August 29, 2008 - The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) board of directors this week unanimously approved the association's fiscal year 2008-2009 Wool Trust budget as well as the legislative/membership budget via mail-in ballots. The budget proposals had been recommended to the directors by the ASI American Wool Council and the executive board during their July meetings.
The $2.25 million Wool Trust budget provides programs and services that will improve the viability of the sheep industry and address the American Wool Trust objectives. Through the product development and market promotion programs, ASI will continue to explore market opportunities for wool and maintain a strong emphasis on developing U.S.-made wool products for military uses, such as fire retardant wool fabrics.
Direct marketing activities with international wool buyers will continue to be funded with ASI and FAS funds in the upcoming fiscal year. Those activities include trade teams, communications, processing trials and in-country representatives, who continually service the trade. The quality improvement program will continue to focus on providing the most valuable U.S. wool product to new and returning international customers, as well as domestic buyers.
Market information and analysis for the sheep industry, quality-assurance, animal-health and trade services are a critical component of the budget.
The ASI producer communications program will continue as changes will be made to the ASI Web site, www.sheepusa.org. In addition, funds have been allocated for printed materials, press releases, radio spot requests and for the 2009 annual convention, which will be held in San Diego, Calif.
Board members also approved the proposed $190,000 dues based budget that had been recommended by the executive board. This budget carries the legislative and membership services and continues the new staff position in Washington, D.C., for the ASI Resource Management program. This position allows ASI to further address key issues of the U.S. sheep industry, such as predator control, public and private land use, endangered species and wildlife interaction issues across the country.
"I am very pleased with the progressive programs that have been budgeted for ASI for the next fiscal year," stated Burdell Johnson (N.D.), ASI president. "These programs will provide great assistance to the sheep industry and carry forward the legislative and the wool program goals."
The state of South Carolina, by unanimous approval, will be rejoining the ASI membership. This brings the total number of member states up to 45.
"It is exciting to welcome the sheep producers of South Carolina back into membership of the national association. ASI and the sheep industry get stronger every time a new state joins the membership," concluded Johnson.