USDA awards $200M to trade promo groups | TSLN.com

USDA awards $200M to trade promo groups

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that the Agriculture Department has awarded $200 million to 57 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) to help U.S. farmers and ranchers identify and access new export markets.

The package also includes the Market Facilitation Program to provide payments to farmers harmed by retaliatory tariffs, and a food purchase and distribution program to assist producers of targeted commodities.

In a veiled reference to U.S. exports to China, Perdue said, “This infusion will help us develop other markets and move us away from being dependent on one large customer for our agricultural products. This is seed money, leveraged by hundreds of millions of dollars from the private sector, that will help to increase our agricultural exports.”

All sectors of U.S. agriculture, including fish and forest product producers, were eligible to apply for cost-share assistance under the ATP. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service evaluated applications according to criteria that included the potential for export growth in the target market, direct injury from the imposed retaliatory tariffs, and the likelihood that the proposed project or activity will have a near-term impact on agricultural exports, USDA noted in a news release.

The ATP provides cost-share assistance to eligible U.S. organizations for activities such as consumer advertising, public relations, point-of-sale demonstrations, participation in trade fairs and exhibits, market research, and technical assistance.

Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a news release that $65 million of the total awarded funds would benefit North Dakota farmers and ranchers.

Hoeven cited the following groups as benefitting North Dakota agriculture:

▪ American Soybean Association — $21.8 million

▪ U.S. Grains Council — $13.9 million

▪ Food Export Association of the Midwest USA — $13.8 million

▪ U.S. Wheat Associates — $8.2 million

▪ National Potato Promotion Board — $3.6 million

▪ USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council — $1.5 million

▪ U.S. Dry Bean Council — $1.4 million

▪ Intertribal Agriculture Council — $272,000

▪ National Association of State Departments of Agriculture — $249,000

–The Hagstrom Report