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October 7, 2022
The Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports Act of 2022 introduced by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) would double the funding for USDA's Market Export Program and Foreign Market Development Program.
The MAP and FMD programs have been recognized as critically import in expanding market access for U.S. agricultural exports. According to the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, a recent study at HIS Market and Texas A&M University, doubling the funding for these programs would generate an additional $44.4 billion in U.S. agricultural exports over the 2024-2029 time-period. For every dollar invested in MAP and FMD, there is a $24.50 return on investment.
Robbie Minnich, chairman of the coalition, said, "Global competitors keep spending more to promote their exports, but MAP funding hasn't been increased since 2006 and FMD funding hasn't changed for two decades."
The last time MAP received increased funding was 2006 and FMD funding was increased in 2002.
Currently, MAP is funded at $200 million and FMD at $34.5 million.
USDA to invest in domestic fertilizer production
USDA announced it was making available $500 million in grants to increase production of American-made fertilizer. This is to help increase competition and address high fertilizer prices caused by the war in Ukraine.
According to USDA, the program will support fertilizer production that is:
Independent and outside of the dominant fertilizer suppliers.
Made in America – fertilizer must be produced by companies operating in the United States or its territories.
Innovative – techniques that improve fertilizer production methods and efficient-use technologies.
Sustainable – products will reduce the greenhouse gas impact.
The maximum award is $100 million, and the minimum award is $1 million.
USDA will be accepting grants in the near future.
National 4-H Week
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed Oct. 2-8 as National 4-H Week. This year's National 4-H Week theme is "Opportunity4All." It is estimated that there nearly 6.5 million 4-H members nationwide.
Jose Esteban's nomination to be Under Secretary for Food Safety is still pending before the Senate. Last week's article said he had been confirmed.
Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. The opinions of this writer are not necessarily those of Farm Progress/Informa.
Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.
Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.
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