The USDA is providing 70 U.S. trade organizations with $234 million dollars to promote American farm products overseas during the 2008 fiscal year.
"Agricultural trade is absolutely vital to the U.S. economy," said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. "This funding will help U.S. farmers and ranchers develop overseas consumers who value the United States as an excellent supplier of superior agricultural products."
USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service is administering the funds through the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program. The Market Access Program uses funds from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities with U.S. agricultural trade organizations, state regional trade groups, and cooperatives. Activities conducted with MAP funding include market research, consumer promotions for retail products, and seminars to educate overseas customers.