March 15, 2004
Mar/Apr 2004 -- Various governmental departments and agencies presented in early February the details of President Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman released a proposed $81.8 billion agriculture budget, down 8 percent from last year's budget.
According to Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), "The Administration's budget increases funding in our key programs areas with scrapie eradication moving to $21 million from approximately $15.5 million in FY 2004 and Wildlife Services operations being increased to $72 million."
Funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) will be at the current year level of $125 million rather than $140 million as authorized under the 2002 Farm Bill. Foreign Market Development, the matching funds program ASI utilizes for international wool and pelt promotion, is being continued at $34.5 million.