August 2005 -- By the time you receive this issue of Sheep Industry News, the American Sheep Industry Association?s (ASI) executive board will have just wrapped-up our third-quarter meeting in Denver, Colo. This is a crucial meeting for the industry in that it is mainly dedicated to recommending a budget for the association?s services and programs for the next fiscal year.
The process started when the American Wool Council met in July to build and recommend an American Wool Trust budget for our wool production, quality improvement, information and wool marketing programs and services. This budget was then recommended to the executive board, which was approved for consideration by the full ASI board of directors.
The budget materials and financials will be sent this month to each state?s voting director for approval and will be returned to ASI. For several years now, the board has conducted this vote by mail in order to save on travel time and expenses for the volunteer leaders that represent each member state association of ASI.
At one time, we were able to fund two board meetings per year. The summer meeting was devoted in large part to budget deliberation of the directors to approve funding prior to the fiscal year start of October 1. While it was very helpful to have the board meet in person twice annually, the expense of travel combined with a much smaller number of office staff, doesn?t fit for the association any more.
In September, I will oversee the tabulation of the ballots and prepare to implement the new budget on October 1.
In addition to the American Wool Trust budget, the executive board recommended a budget for the legislative and member services part of ASI in July. The dues from state associations provide most of the revenue for these services and are supplemented by associate memberships and publications.
In regards to dues, I would like to applaud the state associations for doing an excellent job over the past three years for paying them in a timely matter. In fact, we will have 100-percent payment of dues again in 2005. This is a compliment to each member of our state associations that keep their dues paid. Not only are you funding your state-level projects and services, but you are also contributing to the national level.
The ASI staff has been very active in securing additional contracts for the association to fund additional services for sheep producers. Currently, we have a scrapie eradication program, which provides continual information through ASI publications and a cost-share option for producers who wish to genotype their rams. We also added a wool product-research contract this year, which we hope to expand for military uses of American wool.
On a side note, I would like to thank those sheep producers who have allowed ASI to nominate them to national boards. In June, we nominated John Oswalt (Mich.), David Trotter (Ind.), Janet Mawhinney (Penn.) and Laurie Hubbard (Penn.) for the American Lamb Board, as there are two producer seats open this year.
We also made nominations for the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee. Those nominated for re-appointment were Nina Baucus (Mont.), Maurice Shelton, Ph.D. (Texas), and Patti Strand (Ore.). Bryce Reece (Wyo.) was nominated for the open cattle/sheep producer position that is being vacated by West Virginia sheep producer Joseph Harper.