Last updated: August 24. 2013 2:18AM - 172 Views

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana sheep producers have voted in favor of forming an Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Council, which will begin July 1.

Ballots were mailed to nearly 400 commercial registered producers, and about 200 ballots were returned and deemed valid by the May 24 deadline. Voting results show the majority of sheep producers are in favor of establishing a council. Purdue University administration is also in favor of taking the next step.

"Purdue is committed to serving our Indiana agricultural producers through high impact research and Extension, and sheep and wool producers are an important part of Indiana agriculture," said Karen Plaut, Associate Dean and Director of Agricultural Research at Purdue. "The Indiana Sheep and Wool Council will join organizations like the Indiana Turkey Market Development Council, Mint Market Development Council and the Indiana Wine Grape Council in helping to better serve our Indiana farmers."

The council will be composed of nine members who will oversee the market development program. Goals of the council include promoting consumer awareness, sales of sheep products, supporting sheep and wool research and encouraging both consumer and producer education.

The council will be funded by a proposed 0.5 percent checkoff of the net market price for all sheep and wool produced in Indiana.

Producers can now submit names for consideration by a nominating committee, who will present their final nominations to the dean of the College of Agriculture. Names should be sent to Jerry Fankhauser, assistant director of Agricultural Research at Purdue, at 615 W State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907 or fankhaus@purdue.edu.

The movement to develop the council started last July when a petition signed by nearly 6 percent of Indiana's commercial sheep producers was delivered to Purdue University's Office of the Dean of Agriculture.

The original petition can be found at https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/Documents/SheepWoolPetition.pdf.

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