Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) awarded fiscal year 2011 funding to approximately 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for their goods.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) has been awarded $161,354 through the Foreign Market Development Program and $381,466 through the Market Access Program to work with expending markets.
"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, visit www.fas.usda.gov/info/webstories/map_042911.asp and www.fas.usda.gov/info/webstories/fmd_042911.asp.