ASI Working on American Wool for Future Generations

January 21, 2024

Despite lower wool prices, the American Sheep Industry Association continues to help woolgrowers thrive now and for generations to come. Rita Kourlis Samuelson is ASI deputy director and her passion truly is wool. She says there’s a lot of important work being done for wool and the producers who raise it.

"There certainly are and you're absolutely right wool is my passion," said Kourlis Samuelson. "Wool is just such a wonderful natural fiber with natural characteristics; the characteristics that all sorts of other man made fibers try to duplicate. But there's no other fiber that can do everything that wool does in one fiber. So, we're thrilled to be here representing our American sheep producers and supporting our industry. We're informing them about a lot of the programs that we have at ASI. We do everything from product development to finding new markets for wool and even sustainability."

She says the wool that producers are raising today truly is some of the very best available and comfortable to wear.

"The genetics are finer which means that the wool bends a little bit more," said Kourlis Samuelson. "It's finer not in quality but in actual diameter. So, it's more comfortable next to skin. There's a lot of next to skin wool products. There's a lot going on with wool wool blends and a lot of clothing trends are going back to 100% American wool. It's a superior product. We've got better spinning, better weaving, better finishing. If you haven't tried it for a while, give it a go."

She says that the American Wool Assurance Program is helping to tell the story of American wool and the producers who raise it.

"Our sheep producers take care and love their animals," said Kourlis Samuelson. "They take care of them for a number of reasons. We're able to use our American Wool Assurance program to help show and prove what we already know they're doing. We have measurements in place that are the requirements and the grower has met these requirements and that how they using best practices to take care of their sheep. So, that's the American Wool Assurance program. There's three different levels. People want to know where their food and fiber products come from. They want to know where it's made, how the sheep were treated and stuff like that. Our American Wool Assurance program helps in that manner.'

To learn more about the American Sheep Industry Association and all the important programs and work being done on behalf of U.S. sheep producers, visit

Source: Western Ag Network