Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA is providing $2.3 billion to help American producers maintain and develop markets for their commodities. Some of the funds will use U.S. commodities to boost international food aid.
A request for the funding initially came from the Senate Ag Committee’s leadership, so USDA will be utilizing funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to address challenges related to trade and food insecurity impacting U.S. farmers and the international community. USDA will use $1.3 billion for the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program and support for specialty crop industries to diversify export markets. One billion will go to help address global hunger.
“The Commodity Credit Corporation continues addressing the needs of American producers as significant and unpredictable challenges arise,” Vilsack says. “Those challenges impact the international commodity markets and global food insecurity in the face of an ongoing conflict.” The goal is to strengthen the U.S. position in global markets.
The American Soybean Association joined other groups in applauding the USDA’s efforts to strengthen U.S. trade and food aid. USDA announced a total of $2.3 billion in funds going toward those efforts. “Having these funds to sufficiently support export promotion programs and address hunger are things ASA and soy growers have consistently championed,” says ASA president Daryl Cates.
Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, says, “If these funds are distributed to underfunded sectors like dairy, this will put us in a position to be more competitive globally.”
Dan Halstrom, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, says these new investments in foreign market development are “very timely and much appreciated.”
Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, says, “We look forward to expanding exports of corn, sorghum, barley, and their co-products and are grateful for this new source of funding.”