“A host of factors contributed to this strong and rapid recovery. Successful implementation of the 2008 farm bill passed by the U.S. Congress as well as the Obama Administration’s Recovery Act have provided strong support for American agriculture:

“We have maintained a strong safety net for the agricultural economy by providing farmers and ranchers across America with direct support, disaster assistance, technical assistance, support to struggling industries, and access to credit. At the same time, we worked to build a stronger agricultural economy for future generations of Americans by investing in research, maintaining fair markets, and promoting marketing policies that will keep American agriculture the most productive and successful in the world.  

 “Another factor driving this recovery is an increase in income from exports. Today, USDA is excited to announce we are raising our forecast for agricultural exports for Fiscal Year 2010 to $107.5 billion — the second highest year on record. This a $3 billion increase from the May forecast, and an $11 billion increase over last year. And Agriculture is one of the only major sectors of the American economy with a trade surplus — expected to be $30.5 billion this year. 

 “What’s more we expect to sustain this important progress. The outlook going forward into Fiscal Year 2011 is even more promising, showing $113 billion in agricultural exports. 

“Increased agricultural exports — especially of grains and meat — have helped drive this rebound. It helps create important income opportunities for producers as well as the off-farm jobs that are so critical for strengthening economies in rural America. In fact, every billion dollars in agricultural exports supports over 8,000 jobs and generates an additional $1.4 billion in economic activity. 

“And USDA — as part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative — has helped support these export numbers: