The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors announced that they are accepting grant proposals designed to improve the U.S. sheep industry. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15, 2016.
The Center was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. As part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Center was awarded funding by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to be used for the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program. Grant funding can be used on activities designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through infrastructure development, business development, production, resource development, and market and environmental research. Currently, the Center has budgeted approximately $300,000 for grants that will support projects consistent with the grant program. The average grant amount over the last four years has been $27,200.
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 such as grazing for fire management and pasture improvements.
- 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 composed 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, and one member with expertise in lamb, wool, goat, or goat product marketing. Non-voting members include the USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. The board will review each proposal, recommend funding, and submit final recommendations to AMS for approval.
Additional information can be found on the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Website at www.nsiic.org/. For more information contact Mr. Steve Lee, Program Manager; National Sheep Industry Improvement Center; Post Office Box 646; Rockland, ME 04841; Telephone: (202) 350-9065; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.