The American Sheep Industry Association's (ASI) board of directors unanimously approved the association's fiscal year 2010-2011 Wool Trust budget as well as approved the legislative and membership budget via mail-in ballots. The budget proposals were recommended to the directors by ASI's American Wool Council (AWC) and the executive board.
The $2.25 million Wool Trust budget provides programs and services that will improve sheep production, marketing and information about American wool. The wool programs serve sheep producers, domestic and international wool initiatives and the use of American wool by the U.S. military for fire-retardant, moisture-managing, machine-washable and antimicrobial wool fabric. Funds are also provided for local wool projects through the Wool Outreach program.
The budget offers continued support for the installation and operation of the superwash equipment. The shrink-resistant treatment equipment line will be able to alter the fiber in wool products, allowing garments to be washed and dried without shrinking as well as meeting "Total Easy Care" standards for consumers.
Direct-marketing activities with international wool buyers will continue to be funded by ASI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service in the upcoming fiscal year. Activities which have been a major force in creating international markets for the United States over the last dozen years will continue. The quality improvement program will continue to focus on providing the most valuable U.S. wool products to new and returning international customers, as well as domestic buyers. This includes concentrating on programs emphasizing the production of quality wools through genetic improvement.
Board members approved the continued support of the committee to build the U.S. sheep inventory. The focus is to identify the needs of the industry to increase sheep production, prioritize those needs and implement them for a stronger industry.
In addition, the board approved the rate of membership dues to be the same as it was in past years.
A final ballot was cast allowing the American Sheep Shearer Council to become an associate member of ASI. This decision provides the council a seat on the AWC.
"I am very pleased with the board of director's support for ASI's innovative programs for the next fiscal year," stated Glen Fisher (Texas), ASI president. "These approved programs are so very vital to keeping our industry thriving and gaining strength into the future, and it is encouraging that the state organizations recognize that value."