National sheep industry center accepting grant proposals

Center makes $300,000 in grant funding available through Sheep Production & Marketing Grant Program.

The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) board of directors announced Aug. 14 that they are accepting grant proposals designed to improve the U.S. sheep industry. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 16.

NSIIC was established as part of the 2008 farm bill. As part of the 2014 farm bill, the center was awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to be used for the Sheep Production & Marketing Grant Program. NSIIC is now making available approximately $300,000 in grant funding.

Financial assistance 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 will review each proposal, recommend funding and submit final recommendations to AMS for approval. Additional information can be found on the center's website at www.nsiic.org/.  For more information contact Steve Lee, Program Manager; National Sheep Industry Improvement Center; Post Office Box 646; Rockland, ME 04841; Telephone: (202) 350-9065; via email at [email protected].

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