Wheat growers voice support for market development funding

The National Association of Wheat Growers says bipartisan and bicameral legislation to expand agricultural export funding earlier this year will hopefully be incorporated into the upcoming farm bill.

“This strong showing early on I think sends a strong message that this is a key priority across the ag industry that we need to do something to move the needle to reinvest in these programs,” he says.

Jacob Westlin tells Brownfield the bills would be the first increase in funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program since before Facebook was created.

“The pie, through inflation, has shrunk and also through sequestration, has shrunk since the early 2000s, and then your slices have gotten smaller through additional cooperatives, so we need to grow that,” he says.

Westlin says the market access programs have proven effective for increasing trading partners and exports across all commodities.

A recent economic study estimates doubling funding for the programs would generate an additional $44.4 billion in U.S. ag exports by 2029.

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