WASHINGTON, May 11, 2017 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) today commended Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for his “decisive and prompt” action in announcing a reorganization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that includes the creation of a long-sought undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs position.
“It is highly significant that one of Secretary Perdue’s first actions reflects his recognition of, and strong support for, the essential role that agricultural trade plays in the economic well-being of U.S. farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, rural communities and the nation as a whole,” said NGFA President Randy Gordon and NAEGA President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Martin. “Reorganizing its structure and mission areas along these more functional lines, combined with the appointment of strong and capable officials to fill these positions, will help ensure the ongoing success of USDA programs that support trade and that USDA plays an influential role in helping inform and develop the Trump administration’s overall trade strategies and enable it to become even more effective in carrying out its agricultural trade mission.”
The NGFA and NAEGA noted that the U.S. food and agricultural sector is the world’s largest and most efficient, providing food security to domestic and world consumers.
“The economic benefits of agricultural trade have been enjoyed by U.S. farmers, ranchers, dairy operators, feed mills, grain elevators, feed ingredient suppliers, grain and food processors, and many other agricultural businesses,” Gordon and Martin said. “But those benefits also have accrued to the broader U.S. economy, particularly in terms of job creation and economic growth.”
The NGFA and NAEGA cited data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that has found that the food and agriculture sector supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs, creates more than $423 billion in annual U.S. economic activity, and represents the single largest U.S. manufacturing sector – constituting 12 percent of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. Every dollar in U.S. agricultural exports generates an additional $1.27 in U.S. economic activity.
“We look forward to working closely with Secretary Perdue and the new undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs and their team, as well as the White House, to build an even more robust and prosperous future for U.S. agricultural trade,” Gordon and Martin said.
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,050 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA also consists of 29 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and has strategic alliances with Pet Food Institute and North American Export Grain Association.
NAEGA, established in 1912, consists of private and publicly owned companies and farmer-owned cooperatives that are involved in and provide services to the bulk grain and oilseed exporting industry. NAEGA-member companies ship and support the vast majority of the highly competitive and fungible U.S. grain export supply. NAEGA is dedicated to providing for efficient, predictable, reliable and expanded trade via responsible commercial and official practices. Through a reliance on member action and support, NAEGA acts to accomplish its mission from its office in Washington D.C., and in markets throughout the world.