Members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports advocated for strong support to maintain the vital funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) important export programs, including the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.
"We strongly urge that MAP be funded at no less than $200 million for fiscal year 2011, as authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. MAP has been funded annually at this level since fiscal year 2006," stated the coalition. "In addition, we believe that FMD should be funded at least at the full authorized level of $34.5 million, as provided in the Farm Bill, and if possible, at the higher level of $69 million proposed by the administration. We also request that you strongly oppose any efforts that would either eliminate or reduce funding for these important programs."
This is the message sent to Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Jack Kingston, chair and ranking minority member, respectively, of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies as they consider the fiscal year 2011 agriculture appropriations bill.
Exports are a vital part of the U.S. economic engine, and agricultural exports continue to be its strongest component. Since its creation in 1985, MAP has proven to be highly successful in helping to boost U.S. agricultural exports, protecting and creating American jobs and increasing farm income. Over this period, U.S. agricultural exports have increased by nearly 300 percent, and today nearly 900,000 Americans have jobs that depend on these exports. According to USDA, each $1 billion in agricultural exports supports 8,000 to 9,000 U.S. jobs.
The American Sheep Industry Association is a member of the coalition and also utilizes funding from the MAP and the FMD programs.