According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), agricultural exports for fiscal year 2013 are projected to set another new record and continue to support more than 1 million American jobs. There are a plethora of resources available under the USDA website that help American companies export food products. Here are eighteen.
1. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)http://www.fas.usda.gov/
One of my personal favorites, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating information about global supply and demand, trade trends and market opportunities. FAS seeks improved market access for U.S. products; administers export financing and market development programs; provides export services; carries out food aid and market-related technical assistance programs; and provides linkages to world resources and international organizations.
2. U.S. Department of Agriculturehttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome
Founded in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture. Now, 150 years later, the USDA provides strategic marketing of agricultural products in domestic and international markets, conducts research, provides leadership in ensuring the health and care of animals and plants and works to improve the health and well-being of Americans.
3. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for developing quality grade standards for agricultural commodities, administering marketing regulatory programs, marketing agreements and orders and making food purchases for USDA food assistance programs.
4. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/main.htm
ARS is the USDA's principal in-house research agency--leading America toward a better future through agricultural research and information. ARS’s scientific research solves problems that affect Americans daily.
5. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) http://www.aphis.usda.gov/
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities.
6. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP)http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.
7. Economic Research Service (ERS)http://www.ers.usda.gov/
The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the USDA's principal social science research agency. The ERS provides economic research and information to inform public and private decision-making on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural America.
8. Farm Service Agency (FSA)http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers farm commodity, crop insurance, credit, environmental, conservation and emergency assistance programs for farmers and ranchers.
9. Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)http://www.fns.usda.gov/
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers the food and nutrition assistance programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FNS provides children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its programs and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.
10. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)http://www.fsis.usda.gov/
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged, as required by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act and the Egg Products Inspection Act.
11. Forest Service (FS)http://www.fs.fed.us/
The Forest Service (FS) administers programs for applying sound conservation and utilization practices to natural resources of the national forests and national grasslands, for promoting these practices on all forest lands through cooperation with states and private landowners and for carrying out extensive forest and range research.
12. Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA)http://www.gipsa.usda.gov/
The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds and related agricultural products and promotes fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture.
13. National Agricultural Library (NAL)http://www.nal.usda.gov/
The National Agricultural Library (NAL) provides technical information on agricultural research and related subjects to scientists, educators and farmers using computer databases; coordinates and is the primary resource for national network of state land-grant university and field libraries; and serves as the U.S. center for the international agriculture information system.
14. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)http://www.nass.usda.gov/
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is responsible for conducting monthly and annual surveys and preparing official USDA data and estimates of production, supply, prices and other information necessary to maintain orderly agricultural operations.
15. National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being and communities by supporting research, education and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. NIFA doesn't perform actual research, education and extension but rather helps fund it at the state and local level and provides program leadership in these areas.
16. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the primary federal agency that works with private landowners to help them conserve, maintain and improve their natural resources.
17. Risk Management Agency (RMA)http://www.rma.usda.gov/
The Risk Management Agency (RMA) promotes, supports and regulates sound risk-management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America's agricultural producers by providing crop insurance to American producers, developing the premium rate, administering premium and expense subsidy, approving and supporting products and reinsuring companies.
18. Rural Development (RD)http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Home.html
The USDA’s Rural Development (RD) is committed to the future of rural communities. RD helps rural areas to develop and grow by offering federal assistance that improves the quality of life. RD targets communities in need and then empowers them with financial and technical resources.
Whether your company is just getting started or is already exporting to several countries, these resources will help you export better and stay on top of issues related to agriculture, food, natural resources and rural America.Photo courtesy: stock.xchng