Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week informed the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) of his appointments to the board of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.
"The Sheep Center will strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and goat products in the United States through infrastructure development, business development, production, resource development and market and environmental research," said Vilsack. "These appointees represent a cross section of the industry, and I am confident that the industries will be well served by them."
The initial board members will serve staggered one-, two- and three-year terms. Board appointees Linda Campbell (Va.) and Rochelle Oxarango (Idaho), representing sheep and goat producers, and David Johnson (Wis.), representing expertise in marketing, will serve one-year terms. Janet Mawhinney (Pa.), representing sheep and goat producers, and Glen Fisher (Texas), representing expertise in finance and management, will serve two-year terms. Clark Willis (Utah), representing sheep and goat producers and Joan Snyder (N.Y.), representing expertise in finance and management will serve three-year terms.
"ASI secured authorization of the center in the 2008 Farm Bill with start up funds of $1 million. We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) appointments were announced early enough that the center can meet during our sheep industry convention in January 2011," commented Peter Orwick, ASI executive director. "ASI has worked with USDA for the past two years on the final rule, and we provided a slate of nominees that the secretary considered for directors."
The board is composed of seven voting members and two non-voting members. Voting members of the board include four active producers of sheep or goats in the United States, two members that have expertise in finance and management and one member that has expertise in lamb, wool, goat or goat product marketing. Non-voting members will include the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos and the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Cathy Woteki.
The notice for the final rule, which went into effect Dec. 8, was published in the Dec. 7, Federal Register. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will provide oversight of the Center and will announce the date and place of the inaugural meeting of the board.