US Grains Council Reports a $27 Return on Investment for Every Dollar Spent in Market Access ProgramsSun, 04 Mar 2018 15:18:12 CST
The US Grains Council recently held its International Marketing Conference and Membership meeting about two weeks ago in Houston, Texas, bringing together all of its delegates from around the US and its international team representing corn sorghum barley and related co-products globally, to discuss their priorities and their strategies in the year going forward. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn had the chance to catch up with Kim Atkins, USGC vice president and chief operating officer, to get some highlights from what came out of that meeting during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif. this week. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
“It was a really exciting meeting. We had some great speakers including Undersecretary Ted McKinney, Mark Slupek from the Foreign Agriculture Service and then also the opportunity to hear from a professor from Cornell University who talked about the return on investment that our producers can credit to the market access program and foreign market development program funds that are given to the US Grains Council,” Atkins said, explaining that the general return for funds invested through this program is about $27 for every $1 invested. “So, clearly these programs are paying for themselves. These programs that are authorized in the Farm Bill are absolutely critical to allow the USGC to have a global presence.”
Atkins says it is important to realize how significant the of role good trade agreements and market access is when it comes to keeping US agriculture competitive in the global marketplace. While she understands why the administration is investing time and resources into modernizing existing agreements, she says the US is falling behind when it comes to securing new and emerging markets.
“We don’t currently have any work going forward on new agreements while the rest of the world is really aggressively moving forward on new agreements,” she said. “I think that’s critically important that we start the process of moving forward with these bilaterals and multilaterals and looking at new trade agreements as well as modernizing these existing agreements like NAFTA and KORUS.”
In her view, the world and particularly Asia and the Pacific Rim, show a lot of promise for US grains markets as growing populations and a burgeoning middle class in those regions are increasing their demand for grain. She says the USGC continues to work on behalf of the producers to explore every possible opportunity to grow our nation’s market share of the global grain market.
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