American Soybean Association (ASA) Chief Executive Officer Stephen Censky testified today before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture, which is reviewing export promotion programs and their effectiveness in expanding exports of U.S. agricultural products.

Soybeans and soybean products are our country's No. 1 export commodity. Last year, the United States exported a record-setting $23 billion in soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal. This impressive export growth could not have been achieved without the unique government-industry partnership that characterizes the Foreign Market Development (FMD) "Cooperator" Program and the Market Access Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

"These programs have been tremendously successful and extremely cost-effective in helping expand U.S. exports of soybeans and other agricultural commodities, including corn, wheat, rice, cotton, livestock and meat products, dairy, forest products, peanuts, seafood, and a host of horticultural products," Censky testified.

Censky was asked by the Subcommittee to focus on the role of the FMD Program in expanding U.S. agricultural exports. The FMD program is a public-private partnership program dedicated to the long-term development of foreign markets for U.S. agricultural exports. ASA's FMD funding is leveraged on a 2 to 1 basis with funding for international marketing provided soybean farmers themselves under the soybean checkoff and by contributions from exporters.