The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) praised today’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that it plans to devote $2.3 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation to promoting better market opportunities for U.S. agricultural producers and expanding food aid to support communities in need around the world.
The expanded export support program and food aid were requested by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and Ranking Member Sen. John Boozman, R-AR, in late August. USDA will devote $1.3 billion to establishing a Regional Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, and $1 billion to commodity-based international food aid.
“The U.S. dairy community is grateful for the USDA’s decision to invest in supporting the cultivation of enhanced international market opportunities for America’s dairy farmers and cooperatives. We thank Senators Stabenow and Boozman for their initiative in encouraging USDA to pursue this course of action,” said NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Now more than ever, the U.S. dairy industry relies on exports. If distributed to those sectors that are presently underfunded such as dairy, the new export promotion funding will put us in a better position to compete globally and grow our consumer base. NMPF encourages Congress to build on today’s announcement by USDA to also deliver additional funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program in the development of the next Farm Bill.”
NMPF, USDEC and other agricultural leaders are advocating for Congress to double funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program – the two programs have not received a raise in over 16 years, despite offering consistent returns on investment.
“Farmers, manufacturers and workers up and down the dairy supply chain benefit from expanded trade opportunities that help the industry thrive in today’s global economy,” said USDEC president and CEO Krysta Harden. “We’re thankful that USDA is taking this important step to support American Agriculture and appreciate Senators Stabenow and Boozman elevating the importance of using CCC resources to fund programs that will strengthen the U.S. dairy industry through the creation of new markets and the promotion of nutritional dairy-containing products in food aid. We look forward to continuing to work together to level the playing field for America’s dairy farmers and producers.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of U.S. milk, making NMPF dairy’s voice on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more, visit www.nmpf.org.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products.