The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notified the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) this week that it is seeking candidates for the new National Sheep Industry Improvement Center board.
"We appreciate that USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is beginning the appointment process now so we can have a board in place and programs running by the end of this year," commented Glen Fisher (Texas), ASI president. "It would be advantageous for this board to have the opportunity to meet during the sheep industry convention in January when the other sheep-related organizations gather."
Since all nominations must be submitted through an eligible national organization whose membership consists primarily of active sheep producers, ASI is encouraging interested individuals to contact Peter Orwick, firstname.lastname@example.org, to request background information. ASI will need the nominations by Sept. 15 so that the ASI executive board can vote on a slate of nominees to submit to USDA by the deadline. Board members will be appointed by the secretary of agriculture.
The board will consist of nine members -- seven voting and two non-voting. Four of the members must be producers, two should have expertise in finance and management and one should have expertise in marketing lamb, wool, goat or goat products. The non-voting seats are designated for USDA's Under Secretary of Rural Development and USDA's Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.
ASI secured authorization of the sheep center in the 2008 Farm Bill with $1 million available for use as soon as the board is established. The goal of the center will be to strengthen the sheep industry in America.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33