Rep. Mary Miller Cosponsors Bill Supporting Trade Funding in Upcoming Farm Bill
Representative Mary Miller cosponsored the “Agriculture Export Promotion Act of 2023” (H.R.648) this week, a bill that is a top priority for the IL Corn Growers Association. The bill supports increasing funding for the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program authorized in the Farm Bill.
“Increasing access to foreign markets is hugely important for all Illinois farmers and increasing funding available to these export promotion programs is crucial to us. I am so grateful that my Congresswoman, Mary Miller, cosponsored the bill,” said Matt Rush, IL Corn Growers Association President and Fairfield, IL farmer.
The bill calls for increased export promotion funding, representing an increase of only 16 hundredths of a percent of current Farm Bill authorizations.
The MAP and FMD programs both invest federal dollars in market development activities that increase export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. First established in 1978, these programs have clearly demonstrated their effectiveness, returning over $24 to the US economy for every $1 of public funding. Both programs’ funding has not changed in about 20 years, while the global food and agriculture markets have become increasingly competitive.
The programs are successful examples of public-private partnerships. Private investment from farmers, through their checkoff programs, is used to leverage the USDA contributions. As the value of USDA’s contributions has eroded over time, farmers’ and industry partners’ contributions are even more consequential.
“FMD and MAP are programs that boost our checkoff dollars and help them achieve more than they could alone. Flat funding for many years has been impacting the level of programming we can provide. Increasing funds directed to these programs will help us continue building relationships and promoting U.S. corn, DDGS, ethanol, and meats with our international customers. Corn farmers really need the entire Illinois delegation to signal increased support for these critical programs,” said Rush.
Companion legislation, S. 176, has also been introduced in the Senate and has received significant bipartisan support. Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin are cosponsors of the bill and helping to move the legislation forward in the Senate chamber.