The Research and Promotion Division implements, coordinates, and monitors federally-legislated promotion and research programs for beef
, and lamb
. These programs are requested, administered, and funded by the industries themselves. Commonly referred to as "check-off" programs, they operate under promotion and research orders or agreements issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and are financed by industry-established assessments.
The beef, pork, eggs, soybean, lamb, and sorghum programs generate over $250 million annually in assessments collected from producers or growers. These funds finance a variety of programs including advertising; consumer education; nutrition, production, and marketing research; and new product and foreign market development. Commodity "check-off" programs are designed to strengthen the position of each respective commodity in the marketplace by increasing domestic demand and consumption and by expanding foreign markets for these commodities.
LPS Grant Programs
The Research and Promotion Division also administers three grant programs – The Wool Trust, The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, and the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program.
National Sheep Industry Improvement Center
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center
(Sheep Center) solicits competitive grants that are reviewed by the Board of Directors (Board). Grants are awarded for research on new technologies, or knowledge that will improve the efficiency, profitability, and quality of the sheep or goat industry and as seed money for the production and commercialization of new and innovative processes. These grants are evaluated annually against a Strategic Plan developed by the Board and approved by USDA.
The Wool Trust
The Wool Research, Development, and Promotion Trust Fund
, as authorized by the United States Congress in 2000 provides grants to a nationally-recognized council established for the development of the United States wool market. The purpose of the Wool Trust Fund is to assist United States wool producers in improving the quality of wool and providing and assisting producers in the development and promotion of the wool market. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) represents the nationally recognized council, and the funds are received into the Wool Trust Foundation.
Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
As provided under the section 12102 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will request applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
(SPMGP) to award grants to at least one national entity whose mission is consistent with the purpose of the grant program. The SPMGP is designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, resource development and the development of innovative approaches to solve long term needs. Approximately $1.5 million will be available to fund application under this solicitation. Only national organizations whose mission is consistent with the grant may apply.