The American Sheep Industry Association's (ASI) board of directors unanimously approved an ASI American Wool Council budget of $2,225,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2000-01, at the ASI mid-year meeting, in Denver, CO.

This new funding for the ASI's American Wool Council budget comes from the Wool Research, Development and Promotion Trust Fund, which makes $9 million available to the American Wool Council over four years. The Wool Trust fund is part of a trade bill approved by Congress last spring granting trade benefits to the countries in the Caribbean and sub-Sahara Africa. The funding granted to the Wool Council comes from Tariffs paid by importers of wool fabric, yarns and fibers.

The Wool Trust fund act provides the following program guidelines: assist U.S. wool producers in improving the quality of wool produced in the U.S., including improving wool production methods; disseminate information on improvements; and assist U.S. wool producers in the development and promotion of the wool market.

--The FY2000-01 American Wool Council budget includes: quality improvement, including new technology; market research and product development; information-producer communications; and market development, including international marketing.

ASI's board of directors also approved a dues budget for legislative and membership activities of $200,000 for FY 2001. The dues rate was established at four cents per stock sheep.

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