USDA Awards Additional Millions to Build Agriculture Exports

Lindsay Croke

May 23, 2024  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  ICMB |  Exports |  Legislation & Regulation

This week, the U.S. Grains Council received notice of additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture under its Regional Agriculture Promotion Program (RAPP). The award will disperse $17 million to USGC for use in developing markets that will build U.S. agriculture exports.


“The U.S. Grains Council is IL Corn’s most important partner when we think about growing international markets for corn and corn products like ethanol,” said Mark Wilson, USGC Secretary-Treasurer and farmer from Toulon. “This additional funding from the USDA will bolster the Council’s ability to build relationships and capitalize on opportunities to bring U.S. agricultural products to new areas that show potential for export growth.”


RAPP was launched after a request from the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry to bolster, diversify, and expand market opportunities for U.S. agriculture products. This round of funding is the first of five tranches, with the next coming in 2026.


The majority of the Council’s RAPP funding will be used to enhance its programming in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, where rapid population and economic growth is creating demand for high-quality agriculture products that the U.S. industry will be positioned to meet.


Other portions of the investment will be committed to solidifying U.S. producers’ stances in existing top export markets and to add staff in the Council’s Washington, D.C. headquarters to properly manage and administer the Council’s higher international activity.


“RAPP funding is a game changer for the Council and other cooperators representing U.S. products in international markets and will allow a significant expansion of the great work that Council staff are already doing worldwide,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO. “Thank you to USDA for its constant support of the Council and for recognizing the need to continue improving U.S. export market promotion efforts.”


The Illinois Corn Checkoff is an important funding partner of the U.S. Grains Council. Two Illinois corn farmers sit on the USGC Board of Directors, and many other farmer leaders participate in yearly meetings to direct USGC export programs. Together, we work to develop markets, enable trade, and improve lives.