The American Sheep Industry Association's (ASI) Board of Directors unanimously approved the association's fiscal year 2013-2014 wool budget and the legislative budget as well as the membership dues. The budget proposals were recommended to the directors by ASI's American Wool Council (AWC) and the executive board.
The $2.135 million wool budget, reduced from $2.25 million as a result of sequestration, 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.
Promotional and direct-marketing activities with the international wool industry have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service to be carried out by ASI in the upcoming fiscal year. Activities that 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 for the education and mentorship initiative of the Let's Grow campaign. The focus is to increase production efficiencies to address both the ever higher input costs and meet demands of the traditional and non-traditional markets in the United States and abroad.
In addition, the board approved the rate of membership dues to be the same as it was in past years.
"I am very pleased with the board of director's support for ASI's innovative programs for the next fiscal year," stated Clint Krebs (Ore.), ASI president. "These approved programs are vital to keeping our industry thriving and gaining strength into the future, and it is encouraging that the state organizations recognize that value."