The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has been awarded $5 million through the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Regional Agricultural Promotion Program, as announced today by USDA and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley during “A Taste of the States: Chicago” at the National Restaurant Association Show. The program aims to diversify market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products by expanding markets beyond the top regions U.S. food and agricultural products are currently exported to.

“We are excited for NASDA members to have additional resources to bolster international marketing opportunities for U.S. agricultural producers,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. “With this new investment in diversifying markets and increasing trade, we can support rural and agricultural communities through developing long-term economic impacts.”

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley (center) is pictured with Food Export Midwest Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director Brenden Wilson, NASDA Trade Shows Director Blake Ramsey, NASDA International Trade Programs Sr. Director Megan Weeks and NASDA International Grant Programs Associate Director Susan Simpkins.

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service cites that for each $1 invested in export market development, U.S. agricultural exports have increased by more than $24.

“NASDA thanks USDA for its leadership in building the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program and for recognizing NASDA as a unique leader in growing international market development,” McKinney said.

NASDA will use the funding to develop emerging markets by fostering robust relationships, maintaining and improving market access and expanding export opportunities for small and medium-sized U.S. food and beverage companies.