June 27, 2003
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations this week approved the 2004 Agriculture Appropriations bill.
Funding levels include $125 million in Foreign Agriculture Service for the Marketing Assistance Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) at $34.5 million, which ASI participates in with matching funds for international wool and pelt promotion. Wool research is allocated $300,000. The scrapie eradication program is expected to receive the current year?s level of $15.47 million, Wildlife Services operations is receiving an increase of $1 million for a total of more than $70 million and Wildlife Services methods development is also expected to be funded at last year?s level.
In the appropriations bill, language was included to encourage the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue funding the Lamb Meat Adjustment Assistance Program retained ewe-lamb program for an additional year utilizing Section 32 funds. Also included in the bill was language directing the USDA to assemble a report regarding quality grading of imported lamb and beef carcasses.
Peter Orwick, executive director for the American Sheep Industry Association, indicated, ?With the budget situation, the Appropriations levels are extremely tight this year and we applaud Chairman Bonilla?s leadership with the Appropriations Committee in funding the crucial sheep industry programs. Inclusion of language urging USDA to continue section 32 funding of the ewe-lamb retention program is another major plus in the House bill along with language directing a report on imported lamb carcass grading.?
It is expected that the full House will consider the bill after the July 4th congressional recess.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33.