Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is using $2.3 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funds to promote exports. A total of $1.3 billion will be used to create a Regional Agricultural Trade Promotion Program and another $1 billion will go towards commodity-based market development. The announcement received widespread praise from the agriculture community. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney said every dollar invested in export market development delivers $24 in export revenue. The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council welcomed this effort, but still want funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development doubled in the new farm bill. MAP and FMD funding has not increased in over 16 years.
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