The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is the national organization representing the interests of more than 100,000 sheep producers located throughout the U.S. From East to West, pasture-based flocks to range operations, ASI works to represent the interests of all producers.
ASI is a federation of 45 state sheep associations as well as individual members.
In 1865, the National Wool Growers Association was formed, making it the first national livestock association in the U.S. It was this association that provided the roots for today’s American Sheep Industry Association.
To support, promote and safeguard sheep production in the United States – representing and advancing the interests of member organizations, industry partners and individual sheep producers with advocacy, knowledge-based insights, communications, research and education. Identify, establish, advise, direct and/or support enterprises that benefit members.
When it comes to setting a successful and profitable course for the industry, ASI believes there is no one better equipped for this task than the American sheep producer. This is why producer members established ASI’s goals. They include:
- Developing an industry vision for the future.
- Being an advocate of public policy to protect, promote and support the economical viability of the industry.
- Creating strong national and international markets for wool through advertising, promotion and marketing.
- Advancing and coordinating science and technology of production and marketing, and
- Promoting communication and cooperation between all segments of the industry, related business and government agencies.
Powered by Producers … for Producers
From the domestic and international promotion of wool and pelts to our work on legislative, science and technology, animal health and resource management issues, ASI is a producer-powered federation of state organizations dedicated to the common goal of promoting the profitability and well-being of the U.S. sheep industry.
Just as the inner-workings of the U.S. sheep industry are wide and varied, so are the interests of ASI.
ASI’s producer-driven structure includes a board of directors, executive board, councils and committees, and officers. These entities define, develop and execute policy on issues affecting the sheep industry.
This is why the association has five councils comprised of industry leaders to define, tackle and develop policy on the tough and ever-changing issues affecting the industry. These councils are Legislative Action, Production, Research and Education, Resource Management, Lamb, and Wool.
Proven Coalition Builder
ASI’s track record as a proven coalition builder was evidenced when it brought together leaders from all segments of the industry to win the only trade action on Australian and New Zealand lamb imports.
The National Lamb Feeders Association (NLFA) is a member of ASI and a key partner in national issues as well. ASI has brought together other livestock, health and aviation interests to successfully defend and strengthen the Wildlife Services program.
Individual producers, feeders, processors and other interested individuals are welcome to join ASI on an individual basis.
How ASI is Financed
Funding for work on legislative and membership issues comes from member dues and individual donations. Individual and state member dues are .035 cents per stock sheep and $8 per member and must be renewed yearly.
ASI is a federation of 45 state sheep associations as well as individual members. ASI officers, board of director members and council and committee members serve as volunteers – without pay.
ASI secured limited non-industry funding, known as the Wool Trust Fund, for use in wool production, information, research and promotion.
As a volunteer organization dependent upon voluntary funding, ASI has developed initiatives — and even separate organizations — to deal with industry needs beyond the association’s funding ability. In 1996 ASI created the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, which makes available grants and loans for projects aimed at strengthening industry infrastructure. In 2000, ASI secured the National Scrapie Eradication Program, which has the regulation and funding necessary to address the industry’s top animal-health issue – scrapie. And to fill the void in the marketing and promotion of American lamb, ASI led the industry’s development of the National Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order, which was established in 2002.
ASI partners with other organizations for the benefit of the sheep industry.