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USDA allocates $13 million to U.S. Grains Council

The funding marks a significant step towards strengthening the national economy and enhancing trade relationships worldwide.

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This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA’s FAS) unveiled its Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program investments for the fiscal year 2024. Among the nearly 70 agricultural organizations benefiting from this initiative is the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

In the official announcement on Monday, FAS Administrator Daniel B. Whitley highlighted the substantial impact of MAP and FMD on expanding U.S. exports globally. Whitley stated, “For each $1 invested in export market development, U.S. agricultural exports have increased by more than $24. These programs provide a significant boost to the U.S. agricultural industry, which in turn helps strengthen the economy not just in rural communities but across the entire United States.”

The U.S. Grains Council secured approximately $13 million in MAP and FMD funding for FY 2024. Beyond this, the Council is actively seeking additional support through the newly established Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). The RAPP aims to provide $1.2 billion to aid exporters in accessing non-traditional markets and enhancing relationships in existing markets.

Kurt Shultz, Senior Director of Global Strategies at USGC, expressed gratitude for the funding, stating, “These grants are a culmination of a year’s long effort by our staff and our members through their role in Advisory Teams to identify program priorities for our various commodity groups and build program strategies to capture grant funding.”

The USGC, being a member-driven organization, plans to engage with its members starting in February at the annual international marketing conference to develop strategies for 2025 and beyond.

The Market Access Program (MAP) operates globally, contributing to the development of markets for various U.S. farm and food products. The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides cost-share assistance to eligible U.S. organizations under the FMD program for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research, and technical assistance.

MAP requires a minimum 10 percent match when funds are utilized for generic marketing and promotion. For the promotion of branded products, a dollar-for-dollar match is required. The FMD program, on the other hand, focuses on generic promotion of U.S. commodities and gives preference to organizations representing an entire industry or having a nationwide membership and scope. FMD-funded projects generally target long-term opportunities to reduce foreign import constraints or expand export growth opportunities.

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