April 6, 2007
April 6, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is accepting applications for five export market development programs. The programs are the Market Access Program (MAP), the Emerging Markets Program (EMP), the Quality Samples Program (QSP), the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program and the Foreign Market Development Cooperator (FMD) program.
The general purpose of the programs, although there are some differences, is to create, expand and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and support projects that benefit whole industries rather than individual companies. Depending on the program, applicants must be nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations, U.S. agricultural cooperatives or a state agency. Applicants must agree to cost share and contribute resources to its proposed activities.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has received funding through these programs in previous years to promote sheep industry products overseas and will again apply for 2007/2008 dollars.
"The sheep industry made a strong showing with positive results from these programs in the past years," said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI's international wool marketing director. "This is extremely important funding for the U.S. wool industry as it continues to explore and expand new markets."
All programs are administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service. Qualifying applications received by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, May 14, 2007, will be considered.
Details on the application procedures for these programs can be found at www.fas.usda.gov/info/fr/notices.asp
. Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ext. 29