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October 11, 2012

Hearings set for possible Sheep and Wool Marketing Council establishment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two public hearings have been set for late October to review a petition for the establishment of an Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Program and Council that would promote consumer awareness and sales of sheep products.

The first hearing will be Oct. 30 at the Salem Public Library, 212 N. Main St., Salem. The second will be Oct. 31 at the 4-H Community Center Building at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, 1009 W. Third St., Rochester. Both hearings will start at 1 p.m. EDT.

Indiana state law requires that Purdue University's Office of Agricultural Research Programs conduct the hearings because more than 5 percent of the state's nearly 2,000 sheep producers have petitioned for the establishment of the program. The Indiana Sheep Association filed the petition.

ARP Assistant Director Jerry Fankhauser said hearing attendees will discuss and give testimony regarding the contents of the petition but not whether it should be adopted.

In accordance with state law, Karen Plaut, asssociate dean of Purdue's College of Agriculture and ARP director, will decide whether the petition should be approved, modified and approved or rejected based on the testimony.

The Sheep and Wool Market Development Program would be administered by the council, which would be composed of and elected by Indiana sheep producers. Goals of the program are to support sheep and wool research; encourage consumer education about the merits of lamb and wool products; and to stress market development, including sales promotion and producer education.

The petition calls for a check-off of one half of one percent of the net market price for all sheep and wool produced or marketed in Indiana. It also proposes the number of council members, their representative areas, manner of nomination, duties, length of term and remuneration, if any. It also details the method of holding the referendum and the eligibility of voters.

Sheep producers who have opinions on the proposed program can present written comments before the hearings, as well as oral or written comments at the hearings.

Pre-hearing comments can be submitted to: Director, Purdue Agricultural Research Programs, Purdue University, 615 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Copies of the petition are available at https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Documents/SheepWoolPetition.pdf or any Purdue Extension county office. Questions should be directed to Fankhauser at 765-494-8368, fankhaus@purdue.edu

Writer: Jennifer Stewart, 765-494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

Source: Jerry Fankhauser, 765-494-8368, fankhaus@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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