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U.S. Exporters Shine at Asia’s Largest Food Trade Show

Helping U.S. exporters tap into Japan’s $670 billion food market is a top priority for the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Japan. One way we do this is by organizing the USA Pavilion at FOODEX Japan, the largest food and beverage trade show in Asia. This year’s show, which was held March 6-9, drew 74,000-plus attendees, not just from Japan but also from other Asian markets including Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand and Hong Kong.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos (right) visits a U.S. organic onion exhibit at the USDA-endorsed FOODEX Japan. The food and beverage show took place March 6-9 and is the largest show of its kind in Asia. The U.S. Pavilion was one of the largest at the show and featured more than 70 companies. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo)

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos (right) visits a U.S. organic onion exhibit at the USDA-endorsed FOODEX Japan. The food and beverage show took place March 6-9 and is the largest show of its kind in Asia. The U.S. Pavilion was one of the largest at the show and featured more than 70 companies. (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo)

The USA Pavilion was one of the largest at the show, featuring more than 70 U.S. companies and a wide range of “Made in America” products, including meat and seafood, fresh produce, wine and specialty snack foods. Participants had an opportunity to showcase their wares to key decision-makers from restaurants, supermarkets, wholesalers, grocery stores, foodservice and hospitality companies, fast food chains and convenience stores, as well as distributors, agents and brokers. Read more »

USDA Science: In Support of Feed the Future and Global Food Security

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

As part of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future, USDA is building collaborative scientific partnerships with nearly a dozen organizations that will help U.S. and African goat producers enhance goat breeding and productivity.

Feed the Future is part of a multilateral effort launched at the L’Aquila World Summit on Food Security in 2009 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and suffering from hunger by 2015.  The program enables affected governments and their people to take the lead in developing and implementing food security solutions. These “country-driven” strategies give ownership and accountability, while tackling the root causes of hunger and poverty. Working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USDA offers strong competencies in capacity development, food assistance, research and technology transfer in support of Feed the Future. Read more »

The Energy Behind Alternative Energy

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program, or BCAP, is still in its infancy, but its potential success has producers and businesses wanting more.

“We have people on a waiting list,” said Tim Wooldridge, Arkansas project manager with MFA Oil Biomass. MFA was selected by USDA to manage three of nine project areas in fiscal year 2011. Each project area was awarded federal funding to provide incentives to farmers to grow non-food crops that can be processed into biofuels. “Our initial target in the Arkansas project was 5,000 acres, which we surpassed in signing up 6,588 acres. We now have 1,500 acres on a waitlist. We could easily get another 6,000.” Read more »

USDA Official Marks State Tribal Relations Day in South Dakota

South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks and J.R. LaPlante, Secretary of Tribal Relations for the state of South Dakota mark State Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota State Capitol.

South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks and J.R. LaPlante, Secretary of Tribal Relations for the state of South Dakota mark State Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota State Capitol.

The South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations hosted State Tribal Relations Day at the South Dakota Capitol on Monday, March 19, 2012.  South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks took part in the day; attending the Tribal Listening Session and ceremony.  Meeks was impressed by all of the tribal representatives as well as the students that attended from across the state.  “The listening session was an important part of the day with government to government interaction where ideas and solutions were shared.” Read more »

Learn How to Play Smart Against Spreading Invasive Species

As spring awakens across the country, outdoor recreation enthusiasts are beginning to look again for opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. America’s spectacular national forests and national grasslands provide some of the greatest opportunities for outdoor recreation in the world.

The emerald ash borer, highly destructive to ash trees, is one of the most destructive non-native insects in the U.S. Photo credit:  Invasive.org

The emerald ash borer, highly destructive to ash trees, is one of the most destructive non-native insects in the U.S. Photo credit: Invasive.org

But these beautiful and inspiring natural places are also under attack from hundreds of invasive plants, animals and pathogens. These exotic invaders disrupt natural ecological balance and can negatively impact the quality of outdoor recreation experiences. Invasives can threaten human health and safety and possibly reduce access to some areas. Read more »

U.S. Agribusinesses Build Trade Relationships, Seek Export Success in China

It is my pleasure to be in China, leading USDA’s largest-ever agricultural trade mission in the cities of Chengdu and Shanghai from March 23-28.

Left to right: Former Deputy Commissioner of Commerce for China Mr. Zhang Zhi Gang, Former Deputy Commissioner of Commerce for China  He Ji Hai, Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, Former Deputy Commissioner of Commerce for China He Hua Zhangand at the opening of Tang Jiu Hui Trade Show in Chengdu.  Scuse is currently leading USDA’s largest-ever trade mission delegation in China. Photo Credit: Kirsten Allen

Left to right: Former Deputy Commissioner of Commerce for China Mr. Zhang Zhi Gang, Former Deputy Commissioner of Commerce for China He Ji Hai, Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, Former Deputy Commissioner of Commerce for China He Hua Zhangand at the opening of Tang Jiu Hui Trade Show in Chengdu. Scuse is currently leading USDA’s largest-ever trade mission delegation in China. Photo Credit: Kirsten Allen

I am joined by 39 U.S. businesses representing a wide variety of products, including fresh and frozen produce, dairy, wine, consumer-oriented products, forestry products, and more. Representatives from six state departments of agriculture are also participating, including Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese, and representatives from North Carolina, Illinois, Kansas, and South Dakota. Read more »