August 2005 -- During the week of June 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the recommendations put-forth for agricultural appropriations for fiscal year 2006 by Subcommittee Chair Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah).
Projects recommended for funding that directly impact the sheep industry include: scrapie eradication, wool research, Wildlife Services? (WS) operations, Wildlife Services? (WS) research, the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) and the Foreign Agricultural Marketing Services Programs.
The scrapie-eradication program is slated to receive $19.3 million, an increase from the $17.6 million received in the current year. Funding for university wool-research programs is allocated at $298,000.
It has been proposed that WS operations receive $72.9 million, while WS methods development would increase to $17.5 million from $17.2 million last year.
?As requested by the livestock industry, the committee approved language specifying funding for a livestock-protection program with WS for this critical effort in effective predator control,? comments Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). ?ASI is very pleased with the priority Chairman Bennett (R-Utah) placed on funding Wildlife Services and beginning the process of ensuring adequate federal funds to address predator management.?
The committee recommended an allocation of $2 million for the NSIIC to continue funding loans and grants for the advancement of the U.S. sheep industry. This provision would double the amount NSIIC received in FY 2005.
The bill also recommends stable funding of the Market Access, Foreign Market Development and Quality Samples Programs which ASI utilizes with matching-funds for international promotional and developmental functions for wool and pelts.
?We applaud the effort put-forth by the committee to fund these programs that are so vital to sheep producers nationwide,? states Paul Frischknecht (Utah), ASI president.