National sheep group awarded federal funds from USDA
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has awarded funding to more than 60 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for American products.
The Market Access Program (MAP) shares the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities that help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities. ASI uses this funding for projects to bring international customers to the United States to learn more about American wool and also for sending wool industry representatives overseas to assist with the education of processing U.S. wool, combing and scouring trials and trade show participation.
The Foreign Market Development (FMD) program focuses on trade servicing and trade capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. products. This program is also used to promote U.S. wool overseas by building strong relationships with these buyers and assisting the U.S. wool industry to find and maintain wool markets. Programs include trade missions to the U.S., monitoring trade policies and promotion.
According to Rita Kourlis Samuelson, international wool marketing director for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), “ASI is again grateful for the assistance it receives from these programs. These funds are extremely important for the U.S. wool industry as it continues to maintain, build and explore foreign wool markets.”
For fiscal year 2015, ASI has been awarded $482,961 for MAP and $148,193 for FMD.