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Posts tagged: Columbia

Secretary’s Column: An Update on Exports

The past four years have been tremendously positive for America’s efforts to export more agricultural goods and products around the world.

The brand of American agriculture is soaring worldwide. In fact, 2009 to 2012 represents the best four years in our nation’s history for agricultural exports. Exports have grown more than 50% over that period of time.

We have reason to believe that more good news is ahead. Recently, USDA economists forecast agricultural product exports for next year to exceed $145 billion. That would set yet another new record – and it would allow agricultural exports to continue supporting more than a million jobs. Read more »

Opportunities Abound for U.S. Agribusinesses in Panama and Colombia

Juan Carlos Cadena (left), Colombia’s Director of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Bryce Quick, Associate Administrator for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, participate in a welcome plenary session for a USDA trade mission with Panama and Colombia, which took place in Bogota Nov. 14-17. With 24 U.S. agricultural companies participating, it was the largest delegation ever on a USDA trade mission. Photo by Fernando Soto, U.S. Embassy Bogota.

Juan Carlos Cadena (left), Colombia’s Director of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Bryce Quick, Associate Administrator for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, participate in a welcome plenary session for a USDA trade mission with Panama and Colombia, which took place in Bogota Nov. 14-17. With 24 U.S. agricultural companies participating, it was the largest delegation ever on a USDA trade mission. Photo by Fernando Soto, U.S. Embassy Bogota.

Last week, I was honored to travel to Bogotá and lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s trade mission with Panama and Colombia. Read more »

A Reflection on the State of Agriculture and the Future

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of traveling to Kansas City to address our nation’s farm broadcasters at the 68th Annual National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) meeting to answer questions about key issues affecting our agricultural community.  Since I usually only talk to the broadcasters over the phone, I enjoy coming to NAFB each year to meet with them face-to-face.  This year was particularly special because I was able to share good news regarding the state of our agricultural economy, farm exports as well as information about recent USDA streamlining initiatives that will allow us better assist our nation’s producers.

I was proud to announce that we set a record of $137.4 billion in agricultural exports this past fiscal year—exceeding past highs by over $22.5 billion—to support more than 115 million American jobs.  We were able to set a trade surplus record of $42 billion, which is a testimony to the hard work of our nation’s producers as the backbone of the American economy. Read more »

USDA Cultivates Opportunity in Panama as Trade Agreement Awaits Congressional Action

Pictured here at Panama Gastronomica are show organizer Elena Hernandez, Iron Chef Jose Garces, and U.S. Ambassador to Panama Phyllis Powers.

Pictured here at Panama Gastronomica are show organizer Elena Hernandez, Iron Chef Jose Garces, and U.S. Ambassador to Panama Phyllis Powers.

The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement now awaiting Congressional action promises to boost U.S. exports to the nation known as “The Crossroads of the Americas.” In total, Congressional ratification of the Panama, Colombia and South Korea trade agreements will help farmers and ranchers add more than $2.3 billion a year to the American economy, which will support nearly 20,000 jobs. In Panama, USDA is hard at work cultivating consumers’ tastes for high-quality U.S. food and agricultural products at events such as last month’s “Panama Gastronomica,” an international food show in Panama City. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Trade Deals Create Jobs

This week, Congress will begin to take a look at important jobs legislation: new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama and trade adjustment assistance to help train workers for the 21st century economy.  These agreements will help create jobs and provide new income opportunities for our nation’s agricultural producers, small businesses, and rural communities.

Today, farm exports help support more than 1 million American jobs.  Passage of these three agreements will infuse the American economy with an additional $2.3 billion in farm exports, supporting 20,000 American jobs. In fact, our nation’s economic output is estimated to grow more under the Korea agreement alone than from our last nine trade agreements combined. Read more »

USDA Administrator Visits the “Show Me State” to Review Business, Telecom and Broadband Investments

Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director, and Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator (center), painting the Ralls County PWSD No. 1 water tower

Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director, and Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator (center), painting the Ralls County PWSD No. 1 water tower

A three day visit to Missouri, the “Show Me State” allowed me to join Janie Dunning, Rural Development State Director, to see how rural areas benefiting from infrastructure investments made possible through USDA Rural Development programs and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) financing. Read more »