- January 2017
In late December, the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors announced that they have reviewed proposals submitted for projects designed to improve the United States sheep industry and approved 13 grant requests.
Applications were accepted through Sept. 15, 2016. There were a total of 22 proposals submitted for nearly $2 million in funding.
The center was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. The Center budgeted approximately $300,000 for grants that will support projects designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep products in the United States through infrastructure development, business development, production, resource development and market and environmental research.
Recent grant recipients include:
• Hudson Valley Agricultural Development Corporation (N.Y.) – Local Lamb Lessons
• Montana State University – Wool Research and Education
• Montana State University – Sire Breed, Harvest Age and Diet Effects on the Flavor Profile and Consumer Acceptance of American Lamb
• National Sheep Improvement Program – Salary Match to Promote Education
• Mountain Meadow Wool (Wyo.) – Wool Education and Display
• Bartlett Yarns (Maine) – Small Scouring Train
• North Dakota State University – Carcass Ultrasound Training
• Glycoscience (S.D.) – Comparison of Meat Composition of Lambs Affected with GM1 Gangliosidosis to Retail Lamb
• Utah State University – Increased Access and Understanding of Non-Lethal Tools to Reduce Depredation to Sheep and Goats
• North Dakota State University – American Lamb Flavor and Direct Marketing of Lamb Originating from Rams
• Purdue University – Establish Hair Sheep Flock
• National Lamb Feeders Association – Howard Wyman Sheep Industry Leadership School
• Boone County Southwest Conservation District – Missouri Sheep and Goat Conference
Financial assistance provided by the center must accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
• Strengthen and improve long-term sustainability of the lamb and wool industry’s infrastructure by increasing the numbers in production.
• Provide integration of performance/production data from sources that can help enhance the National Sheep Improvement Program.
• Provide leadership training and education to producers and packers within the sheep industry.
• Enhance sheep production by improving infrastructure of the U.S. sheep industry through assistance to all segments of the industry to address sustainable production and marketing of sheep milk, meat, fiber and related services.
• Promote lamb marketing through an organized method that can measure tangible results.
• Enhance the sheep industry by coordinating information exchange and seeking mutual understanding and marketing within the international industry community.
The nine-member Board is comprised of seven voting and two non-voting members. Voting members include four domestic producers of sheep or goats; two members with expertise in finance and management; one member with expertise in lamb, wool, goat or goat product marketing. Non-voting members include the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The board reviews each proposal, recommends funding, and submits to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for approval.