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Nov302023
USDA

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the first tranche of funding under USDA's new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), which was designed to help U.S. producers maintain and develop markets for their commodities. USDA is providing up to $300 million in funding in its first year to support eligible projects that enable exporters to break into new markets and increase market share in growth markets. Future tranches of funds will be released in future years to ensure that the focus of funding can be adapted to changing trade environments and market conditions.

RAPP funds are available to nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organizations, nonprofit State Regional Trade Groups (SRTGs), U.S. agricultural cooperatives, and State agencies that conduct approved market development activities to foster expanded exports and market diversification by encouraging the development, maintenance, and expansion of diverse commercial export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products. RAPP awards will be generally granted for a performance period of 5 years, with an expected start of June 1, 2024, and end on September 30, 2029. 

Applications are due by 5 pm ET on February 2, 2024. Additional information on RAPP is available at grants.gov.

 For more information about RAPP and agribusiness trade missions, visit fas.usda.gov.

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (News Release 0243.23, Nov. 30, 2023)

Nov162023
USDA, Trade missions/shows

Looking to increase U.S. exporter presence in Southeast Asian markets, a USDA delegation led by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor expanded existing trade ties in Malaysia and Singapore. More than 300 business-to-business meetings took place during the weeklong agribusiness trade mission in November 2023. At the same time, Taylor met with the Ministry of Agriculture of Food Security in Malaysia to discuss key topics, including biotechnology cooperation, live cattle imports into Malaysia, and the ongoing issue of HPAI, or avian flu. By the end of the Southeast Asia Trade Mission, it was evident that U.S. agricultural products have a strong and bright future in the region. Local consumers are eager to accept the high-quality products U.S. companies have to offer, and local businesses are looking at U.S. agricultural practices to bolster their domestic production, strengthening the demand for U.S. animal feed, genetics, and climate-smart agriculture practices. 

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (News Release feature, Nov. 16, 2023)

Nov162023
USDA, Trade missions/shows

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the next steps in USDA’s efforts to bolster U.S. agricultural trade, including the planned trade missions for 2024 and the opening of a public comment period for the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). These efforts will help to support further growth in U.S. agricultural exports and introduce high-quality U.S. agricultural products to new markets. On Friday, Nov. 17, USDA will publish regulations for RAPP, which will be open for public comment for 30 days. USDA will lead trade missions to the following markets in 2024:

  • Seoul, Korea – Week of March 25, 2024
  • New Delhi, India – Week of April 22, 2024
  • Vancouver, Canada – Week of June 17, 2024
  • Bogota, Colombia – Week of July 29, 2024
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (with buyers from Thailand) – Week of September 9, 2024
  • Casablanca, Morocco (with buyers from Senegal and Francophone West Africa) – Week of December 2, 2024

For more information about RAPP and agribusiness trade missions, visit fas.usda.gov.

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (News Release 0240.23, Nov. 16, 2023)

Oct242023
USDA

USLGE applauds USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement today of a new funding opportunity worth $2.3 billion dollars that will support U.S. agriculture. The new program called RAPP (Regional Agricultural Promotion Program) will provide US$1.3 billion for new trade promotion funding as well as US$1 billion for food security, commodity purchases, and donations. These funds are authorized by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

This announcement follows a bipartisan Senate request from the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry whose leadership called on USDA to utilize CCC authority to address challenges related to trade and food insecurity impacting U.S. farmers and the international community.

USDA will hold webinars with stakeholders and key partners to clarify the intent of the new funding program. The regulations for this new funding are anticipated during the 2023 calendar year. USDA pledged to gather input from members of the U.S. agricultural industry and will invite public comment for draft regulations.

USLGE President and CEO Martin Sieber supports the announcement saying, “This is very much a welcomed effort by USDA and the Congress to put U.S. agriculture first. We appreciate this infusion of market development funds to promote the world’s highest quality livestock genetics and live breeding animals.” Dr. Sieber is a USDA Agriculture Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) member serving on the committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products.

Oct242023
USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is providing $2.3 billion to help American producers maintain and develop markets for their commodities and use U.S. commodities to bolster international food aid.

Consistent with a bipartisan request from the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, USDA is utilizing funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to address challenges related to trade and food insecurity impacting U.S. farmers and the international community. USDA will use:

  • $1.3 billion for the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP) and support for specialty crop industries to diversify export markets.
  • $1 billion to help address global hunger.

The new $1.3 billion investment in RAPP will enable exporters to break into new markets and increase market share in growth markets.

Source: USDA (Press Release No. 0215.23, Oct. 24, 2023)

Oct042023
USDA

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) community and the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC) membership mourn the loss of friend and colleague Corey Pickelsimer, the Senior Director for the Cooperator Programs Division in USDA-FAS Global Programs. You are invited to share photos, stories, memories, and words of comfort with his family. These will be used to create a memory book demonstrating how much Corey meant to so many people. You can add digital files (photos, statements in Word or PDF) via this Dropbox link below. Please upload any images and statements by October 17, 2023.

Corey's family has also invited those who would like to attend a service in his memory. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 12:30 pm at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22032.

Source: USAEDC Midweek Express newsletter, October 4, 2023

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