WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that domestic manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber have voted to approve the formation of a softwood lumber research and promotion program. Softwood lumber is used in products like flooring, siding and framing materials.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) held a referendum from May 23 to June 10, 2011, to determine whether to implement the Softwood Lumber Research Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order. In the final tally, 67 percent of voters, representing 80 percent of the volume of softwood lumber manufactured by those voting on the referendum, supported implementing a new program. Because the program received a majority of the votes and volume by those voting, the referendum passes.
Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual commodities in the United States and abroad. These self-help programs are administered by board members, who have been selected by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and are funded through industry member assessments. Research and promotion programs allow commodity groups to conduct promotion, market and production research, and new product development for the benefit of their industries.
For more information about research and promotion programs, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/FVPromotion.