Indiana producers of sheep and lamb want to grow their industry, and are hoping a new check-off program helps.
Beginning next month, there will be a special half-a-percent assessment on the sale of wool or sheep.
The $30,000 to $40,000 the assessment is expected to raise will be used for education, promotion and research.
“The Sheep and Wool Market Development Council entertains proposals, either from those within the industry or elsewhere – maybe researchers here in the college putting together a proposal – and votes on funding such proposals,” says Jerry Fankhauser, assistant director of the Office of Agricultural Research at Purdue (ARP), administered the check-off process.
Indiana Sheep Association President Mike Crowder says most operations in the state are small, but want to thrive.
“A lot of our farms are small, hobby farms,” he says. “Folks just like to raise sheep and they’re trying to figure out ways to best promote it to keep it equitable for them to continue.”
Indiana had a check-off as recently has 2002, but state law did away with that. New legislation allowed the program to return after members of the industry approved it.