Vilsack spent millions for US food, ag exports

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that 70 US trade organizations received more than $234 mln in Fiscal Year 2009 to help promote American food and agricultural products overseas.

Vilsack made this announcement at the annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.

"Agricultural trade is absolutely crucial to the US economy and by providing this funding to US organizations during these difficult economic times will help open new global markets for American food products," said Vilsack.

The funding was allocated under the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Cooperator Program, both administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

The Market Access Program uses funds from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to share the costs of overseas market development and promotional activities with US non-profit agricultural trade organizations, state regional trade groups, and cooperatives.

Activities conducted with MAP funding include market research, consumer promotions for retail products, technical capacity building, and seminars to educate overseas customers.

Amongst many others (70 organisations) the following organisations received grants: 

Participant name   Allocation
American Soybean Association $11,623,364
National Hay Association $111,625
National Renderers Association $1,699,432
National Sunflower Association $1,547,220
Pet Food Institute $1,454,177
The Catfish Institute $356,325
US Dairy Export Council $5,141,910
US Grains Council $13,086,132
US Wheat Associates $12,962,045
USA Poultry and Egg Export Council  $6,816,389
USA Rice Federation/US Rice Producers Association  $6,161,542


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