American Agriculture is an “Export Powerhouse”

It’s no secret in U.S. agriculture how valuable trade is to multiple sectors. Daniel Whitley, administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, spoke during the 2024 NAFB Washington Watch. He says U.S. agriculture is a powerhouse,

He says, “The American ag sector is an export powerhouse. We punch well above our weight, and without export markets, we don’t survive. For a population of roughly 380 million people, we grow enough calories roughly on an annualized basis to feed a billion people. So, we grow a lot of food and agricultural products, and we feed a lot of people around the world. That’s important to the economics of American agriculture, that’s important to the environmental and sustainability components of American agriculture, and it’s also important for our social responsibility to the rest of the world.”

With more people to feed as the world’s population grows, science-based standards for agriculture have never been more important Whitley says, “It’s no secret that the world has got to figure out how to feed 10 billion people by the year 2050. It won’t happen without American agriculture. It won’t happen, and it won’t happen without a global adoption and acceptance of science, technology, and innovation. American agriculture is the unequivocal lead in science, technology, and innovation, and we are showing the path of what production agriculture looks like now and tomorrow. We’re hoping that many of our trading partners and our competitors feel the same way and have the same passion for science, technology, and innovation.”

One of the biggest goals at FAS is opening up new market opportunities rather than relying on just a few regular customers.

He says, “We’ve got some new tools in FAS that we’re using to support our exports. The Regional Ag Promotion Program, or RAPP, which is a market development program like our existing MAP program and FMD programs, and, hopefully, our producers get a chance to take advantage of this $1.3 billion made available by the secretary’s office and Congress to help grow exports and diversify our presence. Six percent of our exports go to China, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. This program helps America’s farmers and ranchers look at the rest of the world, other than those four markets, with a lot of emphasis on Africa, a lot on Southeast Asia, and, of course, a lot on Latin America.”

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service

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