USDA Awards $300 Million for Ag Export Growth

Sen. Stabenow and Secy. Vilsack in Michigan June 2023

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was joined by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to announce the allocation of $300 million to 66 U.S. organizations under the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) to build demand for American food and farm exports in diverse markets around the world.

During an embargoed press call Monday announcing the funding, Sen. Stabenow made brief comments about the need to promote exports of U.S. agricultural products, particularly specialty crops, and she noted the importance of trade in the farm bill. “In hearings leading up to our work on the farm bill, the top two things we heard about were trade promotion and strengthening crop insurance,” said Stabenow. “Our commodity groups wanted us to double the amount of resources available over the next five years on trade promotion and marketing.”

While Sen. Stabenow left the call after making her remarks, Secretary Vilsack answered several questions about the farm bill from reporters, including his reaction to the Congressional Budget Office score of the House Republican farm bill proposal released Friday. “I think it’s one of the reasons why the chairman has sought to essentially go around the CBO process,” said Vilsack. “Senator Stabenow has I think been realistic about being about to make significant improvements in our farm policy without putting ourselves or the Senate in a position to not be able to deliver everything that’s promised.”

Listen to the press call here:
Vilsack/Stabenow press call 27:34