On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by a vote of 245 to 178 an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009 that includes funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the remainder of the current fiscal year (through Sept. 30).
Several of the sheep priorities that the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has been able to confirm include $17.7 million for the scrapie eradication program; Wildlife Services operations received $76 million and methods development is slotted for $17,986; and wool research was granted $206,000.
Also under the legislation, the Market Access Program is funded at $200 million annually and the Foreign Market Development Program at $34.5 million annually, as authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. These are both programs that are utilized by ASI for the continued development of international wool markets.
Most of the federal government, including USDA, has been operating under a continuing resolution that will expire March 6. The Senate is expected to consider the bill next week.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33