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Posts tagged: Foreign Agricultural Service

NEI Event in Delaware Highlights Regional Businesses, Exports

Last week, I was honored to travel home to Delaware to address the importance of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI). As a proud former agriculture secretary for this great state, I know well that for thousands of Delawareans, agriculture is not only a livelihood, but also a way of life.

Delaware boasts nearly 2,500 farms covering almost a half-million acres of land. In 2009 those farms generated more than $1 billion in cash receipts and exported $240 million in agricultural goods. Approximately half of the export value came from poultry, making Delaware the United States’ 12th-largest poultry exporter. Read more »

U.S. Fresh Produce Industry Building Strong Trade Relationships in Indonesia

This is the second in a series of three blogs affiliated with USDA’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission, which was led by Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

For years, it’s been my privilege to help bring U.S. fresh fruits and vegetables to the grocery stores, restaurant menus and dinner tables of Indonesian consumers.

I represent groups within the U.S. produce industry who export agricultural goods to Indonesia. They include the Washington Apple Commission, the California Table Grape Commission and the Pear Bureau Northwest, all of which have found success in the Indonesian market. Read more »

Foreign Officials Witness Diversity of U.S. Agriculture

The 2010 annual orientation tour group stops for a picture at ORIgen beef genetics facility in Huntley, Mont.”

The 2010 annual orientation tour group stops for a picture at ORIgen beef genetics facility in Huntley, Mont.”

Want to know how the U.S. does agriculture? Go straight to the source. That’s what I’m doing in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho this week with 24 international officials from 23 countries.

Members of our group, who serve at their countries’ embassies and consulates here in the U.S., hail from Angola, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Egypt, Delegation of the European Union (UK), France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Vietnam. All participants pay their own travel, lodging and tour expenses. Read more »

An Ag Expert Looks Back at Iraq and Afghanistan

Ryan Brewster served as an agricultural expert in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ryan Brewster served as an agricultural expert in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

This morning at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recognized the efforts of more than 20 USDA employees who served as civilian agricultural experts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The agricultural experts were part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to provide civilian assistance abroad to help promote long-term economic development. 

One of those agricultural experts, Ryan Brewster, served for nearly three years in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are his recollections: Read more »

U.S. Florida Grapefruit Won’t Get Squeezed by the OECD Scheme

A Florida grapefruit by any other name would surely taste as sweet. Recently, agencies across the U.S. Government worked with representatives of the Florida grapefruit industry to protect the grapefruit industry while underscoring the value of U.S. engagement in international organizations. A proposed entry of an Inspection Manual by the European-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Scheme on Agricultural Quality (OECD Scheme) initially threatened specific U.S. grapefruit exports to the European Union (EU), which buys one of every two exported grapefruits in the world. Read more »