We would like to thank Senator Ernst for introducing the CREAATE ACT, a bill to increase investment in two federal U.S. Department of Agriculture programs vital to U.S. agricultural exports, the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. These initiatives support the promotion of corn in all forms in international markets.
The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), would increase investment in MAP and FMD programs. A companion bill was introduced in the House earlier this year. We need Congress to pass this legislation quickly.
MAP and FMD form public-private partnerships that promote U.S. agriculture. Cooperators in the initiatives, like the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), employ staff around the world, to build and defend U.S. market share of corn in all forms, including meat, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) each year designates Iowa corn checkoff dollars to match and support international market development programs through these partner organizations. They deliver a strong return-on-investment, every $1 invested creates $28 in exports.
These initiatives not only support our agricultural economy but the nation’s economy overall. For instance, exports of Iowa’s corn, ethanol, DDGS, corn gluten feed, corn gluten meal and corn-fed meat products generated an estimated $5.2 billion in economic output in 2015 creating 15,665 full-time jobs, according to an Informa Economics study. At a time when the farm economy continues to struggle, we should be investing more in these programs, not less.
Funding for MAP and FMD have not kept pace with inflation, administrative costs, global marketplace growth nor the investments made by competing countries. The CREAATE Act would gradually increase MAP funding from $200 million to $400 million per year and FMD funding from $34.5 million to $69 million per year, over the course of the next five years.
The protection of MAP and FMD funding continues to be one of the top priority issues of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). We call on our farmer-members and those in agriculture to urge Congress to pass the CREAATE Act.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a 7,500-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.