Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has provided funding allocations supporting more than 100 organizations' efforts to help expand commercial markets for U.S. agricultural exports. The 2010 allocations were provided under the Emerging Markets Program, Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), Market Access Program (MAP), Quality Samples Program (QSP) and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program to help expand commercial markets for U.S. agricultural exports.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has been awarded $183,479 through FMD, $410,298 through MAP and $365,000 in QSP funding to work with expending markets in China, Eastern Europe, India, Mexico and Western Europe.
"The sheep industry made a strong showing with positive results from these programs in past years," said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI's wool marketing director. "This is extremely important funding for the U.S. wool industry as it continues to explore and expand new markets."
The general purpose of these 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 their proposed activities.
For a complete listing of funding allocations and projects, go to www.fas.usda.gov/info/fiscal2010.