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UDSA Export Promotion: What’s that got to do with me?

Posted on June 20, 2016 at 10:54 AM by Natalie Te Grootenhuis

If you’ve ever been to an Iowa Corn roundtable policy meeting, or winter crop fair, you’ve probably heard someone talking about MAP and FMD – two tiny acronyms that probably meant nothing to you!  Well, it turns out these little letters can translate into big time demand for most corn farmers.

The 2014 Farm Bill re-authorized the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Programs which are run by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) at USDA. From there the FAS each year awards funding to more than 60 agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for U.S. products.  Corn, soybeans, beef, pork, and poultry (and a host of other ag products) all benefit from programs.  An independent study conducted in 2010 found that for every dollar invested in trade promotion overseas, $35 in economic benefits has resulted - much of which is coming back to rural communities in Iowa in the form of jobs and on farm income.

In order to receive MAP and FMD funding, U.S agricultural trade associations must match these dollars with additional investments from the private sector as well as from state and national commodity groups. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) each year designates Iowa corn checkoff dollars to support international market development programs through the U.S. Grain Council (USGC) and U.S. Meat Export Federation.

The overseas marketing and promotional activities by USGC and USMEF help build commercial export markets for corn in all forms – from meat, corn, distillers grains, and ethanol. The focus is on consumer promotion educating shoppers around the world about the quality food products available to them that are raised right here in Iowa! The same goes for the FMD Program which focuses on trade servicing and trade capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets for U.S. ag products.

As an Iowa Corn checkoff contributor – you are helping to move US ag products overseas. The investment you are making through your corn checkoff helps meet that match and is spreading the word about Iowa ag products to the 95% of world consumers that live outside the U.S. border.

Continued Congressional support for the Market Access and Foreign Market Development Programs is going to be more important than ever before with growing demands on the federal budget. The protection of MAP and FMD funding continues to be one of the top priority issues of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA).  Export markets for ethanol, DDGs, corn and value added meat products will be key to corn grower profitability in the future.  The USDA projects that most of the growth in the demand for U.S. corn will occur in the export and domestic feed market in the next ten years[LC1] . The next time you visit with your Congressman or Senator, make sure to thank them for the continued support of MAP and FMD – two little w

 [LC1]This information comes from the USDA ERS Agricultural Projections from Feb. 2015.

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