WASHINGTON — In December, the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced funding of $202.7 million to over 60 agricultural organizations to expand US export markets. FAS is distributing the funds through the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program.

“In this unique public-private partnership, USDA and the American agricultural industry are working together to expand markets for high-quality, American-made farm and food products worldwide,” said FAS Administrator Daniel Whitley. “With industry matching funds, federal investments in these market development programs not only increase agricultural export revenue and volume, but also improve farm income and strengthen the US economy.”

As part of MAP, FAS is giving $175.6 million to 67 nonprofit organizations that will use the funds to promote US products worldwide. Promotion activities include market research, technical assistance, and support for participation in trade fairs and exhibits. On average, each group provides more than $2.50 in contributions for every $1 in federal funding received through the program.

Under MAP, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is receiving $146,582, the North American Renderers Association (NARA) is receiving $816,090, and Pet Food Institute (PFI) is receiving $1,374,617.

FAS is also allocating a total of $27.1 million toward the FMD Program. Those funds will be distributed across 20 trade groups that represent US producers. FAS said preference is given to organizations that represent an entire industry or are nationwide in membership and scope. Like the MAP organizations, the FMD groups contribute $2.50 on average for every $1 in federal funding. The federal funding supports the groups’ efforts to maintain or increase demand for US agricultural commodities overseas.

Under FMD, NARA is receiving $595,375.

“FAS works hard every day to expand international markets for US farm and food products, to break down trade barriers, and to assist America’s farmers, ranchers and producers with the resources they need to reach consumers around the world,” Whitley said.

According to Whitley, US agricultural exports reached a record-high of $196.4 billion in fiscal year 2022 and supported an estimated 1.2 million jobs. Whitley attributed the strong exports performance to the MAP and FMD programs.

From January to October 2022, US dog and cat food exports have grown 21% compared to the same period in 2021, with Canada, China and Mexico as the top three export markets. US dog and cat food exports to Canada totaled $924.3 million (up 16% year over year), exports to China totaled $215.0 million (up 280% year over year), and exports to Mexico totaled $148.2 million (up 9% year over year).

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