Members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports are encouraged by recent progress in farm bill conference committee negotiations to finalize this critical, overdue legislation.

The Coalition also urges leaders to maintain authorization for critical U.S. Department of Agriculture export market development programs in the new legislation or in a short extension of the current farm bill, if that becomes necessary.   

The Coalition members call specifically for maintaining mandatory funding of the Market Access Program, or MAP, at no less than $200 million annually and the Foreign Market Development, or FMD, program at no less than $34.5 million, the same funding levels as in the current farm bill.

“At a time when foreign competitors are planning huge increases in agricultural export promotion, U.S. agriculture cannot afford less support from MAP and FMD to help sustain their livelihoods.” said Coalition Chairman Mike Wootton with Sunkist Growers cooperative.

“Thousands of family farms and small businesses invest their own money to ensure these export programs continue to help sustain their livelihoods. But matching funds cannot be obtained for fiscal year 2014 if Congress fails to include MAP and FMD in a new farm bill or a temporary extension.”