Bill Increases Ag Promotion Funds

U.S. legislators are trying to help farmers keep an edge in the global marketplace.

This week, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst along with Senators King, Donnely, and Collins introduced bipartisan legislation increasing the funding for the USDA export promotion programs.

The Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act aims to revitalize the export promotion programs, which it claims have added $28 for every dollar invested in the last 40 years.

It specifically would help the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program by doubling their funding over five years.

Senator Ernst says Iowa is a prime example of a state that relies on exports and one in five jobs here are tied to trade.

She says the bill promotes Iowa's agriculture and will be effective in selling Iowan goods, "We just need to continue that, we really need to push that and right now we see that American farmers and ranchers are struggling with low commodity prices. So we do think that this will help us maintain those programs it will help us strengthen our trade relationships around the world."

Ernst is hopeful the bill will get passed.

The Iowa Corn Growers applaud the bill saying funding for export promotion programs have not kept pace with inflation, marketplace growth, or investments by competing countries.

They estimate the MAP funding will go from $200 million to $400 million a year and the FMD Program will increase from $34.5 million to $69 million dollars a year.