AMS No. 154-10
Sam Jones-Ellard (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking candidates for the board that oversees the new National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.
On July 23, 2010, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service published in the Federal Register an interim rule regarding the Sheep Center to improve the competitiveness of U.S. sheep and goat industries. The rule will become effective Sept. 21 – the same date that public comments are due.
A board of directors will be created to manage the general operations of the Sheep Center. Board nominations are due Sept. 24 and will be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Once the board has been selected, USDA will announce the date of the first meeting.
Nominations for board members may be submitted by any eligible national organization whose membership consists primarily of active sheep or goat producers. The board will consist of nine members (seven voting and two non-voting): four must be sheep or goat producers; two should have expertise in finance and management; and one should have expertise in marketing lamb, wool, goat or goat products.
The non-voting seats are designated for USDA’s Under Secretary of Rural Development and USDA’s Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.
The Sheep Center currently has $1 million available for grants that will support facility and infrastructure improvements and other initiatives to help the lamb and goat industries remain competitive. The disbursement of grant funding is contingent upon the board submitting a strategic plan to the Agriculture Secretary and selecting proposals from eligible members of the industry.
For more information, contact Kenneth R. Payne, Chief, Marketing Programs, Livestock and Seed Program, in writing, to AMS, USDA Room 2628-S, STOP 0251, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-0251; by calling (202) 720-1115; or emailing Kenneth.Payne@ams.usda.gov
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