Last week was a momentous one for U.S.-China agricultural relations. In addition to the productive meetings that took place in Washington and Des Moines, I was honored to witness the signing of an agreement between the U.S. soybean industry and Chinese buyers who agreed to purchase more than 8.6 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans in the coming year. That’s about $4.3 billion worth of soybeans, or 317 million bushels.
The signing of that purchase agreement represents another very important milestone in the U.S.-China trade relationship, a relationship that continues to grow and flourish – in large part thanks to agricultural trade. Last fiscal year, for the first time ever, China was the number one market for U.S. food and agricultural exports. And it was also the top market, by far, for U.S. soybeans. In fact, China purchased nearly 60 percent of the U.S. soybeans sold internationally last year. Read more »
Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse (left) tours a Vinamilk factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and sees dairy products the company has imported from the United States. Vinamilk is Vietnam’s largest dairy processing company and its general manager, Nguyen Quoc Khanh (right) is a 1998 alum of the Foreign Agricultural Service’s Cochran Fellowship Program. Scuse was in Vietnam last week leading USDA’s first agricultural trade mission there. Photo by Le Sy Hoang Chuong
Last week, I was honored to lead USDA’s first-ever agricultural trade mission to Vietnam, which is quickly becoming one of the United State’s largest markets for agricultural exports.
While there, I met with government and agricultural officials, witnessed trade relationships developing between U.S. and Vietnamese companies, and visited some of Vietnam’s most successful agricultural production and development sites. Read more »
For the past week, it has been my privilege to lead USDA’s first-ever agricultural trade mission to a country with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies–Vietnam.
Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear, and Consul General An Le of the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City cut the ribbon to open the USDA-endorsed USA Pavilion at the Food and Hotel Vietnam trade show in Ho Chi Minh City on Sept. 28. The USA Pavilion is the largest ever at this trade show, featuring 28 U.S. companies representing a wide variety of agricultural goods and products. Scuse is in Vietnam leading USDA’s first-ever agricultural trade mission there. Photo by Le Sy Hoang Chuong
I began my trip in Hanoi, where I met with government and agricultural officials and visited some of the city’s most historical and cultural hubs, including the Pho Hue Wet Market, where I was introduced to some of Vietnam’s unique, local cuisine. Read more »
This past week, I had the chance to sit down with about 20 business leaders in central Illinois to hear their views on ways we can improve the nation’s economy, especially from the agriculture industry perspective. The meeting was part of a series of outreach efforts across the country this summer to rural Americans as part of the White House Business Council and the White House Rural Council.
I want to thank Tim McArdle of Brandt Consolidated, Inc., who leads a successful agri-business in Springield, IL that helps farmers adopt new technologies for their operations. We gathered representatives from many local businesses and had a frank and open discussion about the role of the Federal government in creating a business environment that encourages job growth and improves economic conditions in the agricultural sector and rural communities. Read more »
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan listens to and answers questions from seniors from Calvert High School Calvert, Texas Jamarion Ramirez, Andre Ross, Telisa Grimes, LaKendra Crowley Ja’Marcus Ashley, Blair Burns and Shameka Grimes.
It wasn’t supposed to happen.
There wasn’t supposed to be an agriculture curriculum. There wasn’t supposed to be an instructor. And there definitely wasn’t any money to send seven African-American students from one of the smallest and lowest income towns in Texas to Washington, D.C., to speak with high-level USDA officials. Read more »
The devastation in Joplin is unbelievable, heartbreaking and hard to describe. I have never seen anything like it and hope to never again. The twister tore a path a mile wide and six miles long through the main part of town. It impacted hundreds of businesses and destroyed over 2,000 homes. More than 120 people lost their lives and over 800 people were injured. Scores remain missing or unaccounted for. Read more »