USDA to expand ag exports
By: Sydney Sheffield
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) has announced funding to more than 60 United States (U.S.) agriculture organizations to help expand export markets for U.S. farm and food products through the Market Access Program (MAP), and the Foreign Market Development (FMD). The total investment is $202.7 million.
Through MAP, FAS partners with U.S. agricultural trade associations, cooperatives, state regional trade groups, and small businesses to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities that help build commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural products and commodities.
Under the MAP, FAS is providing $175.6 million in the initial fiscal year 2023 funding to 67 nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. These organizations will use the funds to support U.S. producers with marketing and promotion activities around the globe, including market research, technical assistance, and support for participation in trade fairs and exhibits. The average MAP participant provides more than $2.50 in contributions for every $1 in federal funding it receives through the program.
“In this unique public-private partnership, USDA and the American agricultural industry are working together to expand markets for high-quality, American-made farm and food products worldwide,” said FAS Administrator Daniel Whitley, in an agency press release. “With industry matching funds, federal investments in these market development programs not only increase agricultural export revenue and volume but also improve farm income and strengthen the U.S. economy.”
Through the FMD Program, FAS is allocating $27.1 million in the initial fiscal year 2023 funding to 20 trade organizations that represent U.S. agricultural producers. The program focuses on the generic promotion of U.S. commodities, rather than consumer-oriented promotion of branded products. Preference is given to organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope. The organizations, which contribute on average nearly $2.50 for every $1 in federal funding they receive through the program, will conduct activities that help maintain or increase demand for U.S. agricultural commodities overseas.
Some of the organizations that are receiving the FMD funding are the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. See the full list here.
“FAS works hard every day to expand international markets for U.S. farm and food products, to break down trade barriers, and to assist America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers with the resources they need to reach consumers around the world,” added Whitley. “U.S. agricultural exports reached a record-high $196.4 billion in the fiscal year 2022, supporting an estimated 1.2 million jobs.”