Record U.S. ag exports result of work throughout the industry

Farm Forum

The value of U.S. agricultural exports once again reached a record high in fiscal year 2014, with total exports of $152.5 billion compared to last year’s figure, also a record, of $141 billion, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported recently.

The United States has the world’s most innovative and productive farmers. It also has a national commitment to the reduction of trade barriers, and cooperation across all sectors of the value chain and between the private sector and government to develop, expand and defend markets for U.S. products around the world.

The Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development program (FMD) are USDA’s primary export promotion programs. They comprise the government portion of a unique public-private partnership through which the U.S. Grains Council and other cooperator organizations leverage federal funds to support market development initiatives around the world.

“The Council is making a measureable difference around the world, promoting U.S. coarse grains and their co-products,” said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight.

Since opening its doors in 1960, the Council has helped grow U.S. coarse grain exports by more than 400 percent. In fact, these exports as a percentage of overall U.S. production have increased by more than 70 percent since 1960—growing from 8.5 percent of U.S. production to 14.4 percent.

The Council’s work to develop markets and maintain U.S. market share across the globe continues today through programs like Export Exchange 2014, feeding trials in Southern Mexico to promote U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and boots on the ground efforts in the Middle East and North Africa.

“With more than 95 percent of the world’s population living outside our borders and nearly $60 trillion of the world’s purchasing power outside the United States, the growing market for U.S. coarse grains and co-products is global,” Sleight said. “The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability.”

Independent analysis has confirmed that USDA’s market development programs generate approximately $35 in foreign sales for every dollar invested. Visit to read of some of the Council’s recent successes that utilized USDA funds.