The National Wool Act of 1954 was passed as part of the 1954 Farm Bill. The Wool Act authorized a national promotion program for the products of the angora goat industry, funded by deductions from price support payments to mohair producers, with oversight by the Department of Agriculture. The program's goal was to strengthen the position of angora goat industry in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign uses for mohair and the products thereof. The program was established in the mid-1960's under the Wool Act. First payments to mohair producers were made on 1962 marketings. As a result of the 1994 Reconciliation Act passed by Congress, support payments under the Wool Act to wool and mohair producers were eliminated effective with the marketing year ending December 31, 1995.
Referendums were held approximately every 4 years on a revised agreement between MCA and USDA following the extension of the Wool Act in each Farm Bill. Approval of the agreement required that a majority of the total number of eligible producers voting or producers owning a majority of the volume of goats represented in the referendum approve the agreement. Of the 2,533 valid ballots cast in the June 17-28, 1991, referendum, 86.8 percent of the producers favored the continuance of the domestic and foreign advertising, and sales promotion programs.
The program was funded by deductions from USDA price support payments to producers of mohair marketed. The rate of deduction was established in an Agreement between USDA and the mohair's promotion organization, the Mohair Council of America (MCA)
. A rate of 4.5 cents per pound of shorn mohair marketed was provided for in the Agreement covering 1991-95 marketings with the specific rate agreed upon each year by MCA and USDA. Approximately $600,000-$700,000 annually was deducted from producer support payments each year for use in funding domestic and foreign advertising and sales promotion campaigns as well as programs for the development and dissemination of information on product quality, production management, and marketing improvement for mohair, and the products thereof. As a result of the "phase-out", producers will no longer receive payments under the Wool Act. MCA has a substantial reserve fund which will enable it to operate for several years.
The program is administered by the Board of Directors of MCA which is composed of producers representing 10 mohair-producing districts. With over 90 percent of U.S. mohair produced in the Edwards Plateau of south central Texas, nine of the districts are in Texas. The MCA Board consists of 50 to 60 members based on the amount of funds received by MCA from each district. The Board recommends the annual promotion deduction rate, submits annual operating budgets, and awards contracts to promote the objectives of MCA. An 11-member Executive Committee elected by the Board operates within the authority delegated by the Board.