Ag export market development efforts are being strengthened by a significant investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled a $2.3 billion initiative to fortify markets for American agricultural products and contribute to international food aid efforts. The funding, sourced from the Commodity Credit Corporation, aims to address challenges posed by trade dynamics and food insecurity affecting both domestic and global agriculture. Additional funding support comes as a response to requests from Senate Agriculture Committee leaders Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman.
Market Diversification and Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP)
A significant portion of the investment, totaling $1.3 billion, will be allocated to the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). This initiative seeks to diversify export markets and promote the specialty crop industry, essential for breaking into new markets and increasing market share in regions experiencing growth. The RAPP acknowledges the increasing competition in Asian and African export markets and aims to keep the U.S. ahead of its competitors.
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO, Dan Halstrom, expressed gratitude, highlighting the success of USDA programs such as the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program in delivering value-added returns to U.S. producers. With the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funds concluding, the new investment in foreign ag export market development is timely and crucial.
Dairy Industry Applauds USDA’s Investment
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) praised the USDA’s commitment to allocating $2.3 billion to enhance market opportunities for U.S. agricultural producers and expand food aid globally. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern emphasized the importance of exports for the U.S. dairy industry. He also urged Congress to further support programs like the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program. USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden lauded the USDA’s move to strengthen the U.S. dairy industry through new markets and the promotion of dairy-containing products in food aid.
Wheat Growers Welcome Funding for Ag Export Market Access
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) expressed their appreciation for Secretary Vilsack’s announcement, acknowledging the $2.3 billion funding opportunity for U.S. wheat growers. NAWG President Brent Cheyne welcomed additional funding for food assistance programs, emphasizing the crucial role of U.S. wheat farmers in addressing global hunger needs. USW Chairman Michael Peters highlighted the positive impact of previous funding on protecting wheat export sales and building a foundation for growth in new markets. While commending the introduction of RAPP, Peters emphasized the importance of long-term increases in established Farm Bill export development programs.
Ag News Director / AgNet West