The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the agency facilitated the export of more than $3.8 billion of American produced agricultural products in Fiscal Year 2017 through its Export Verification (EV), grading and classing programs.
In a major victory for U.S. beef producers, AMS export certification programs were a key component in the reopening of the market for U.S. beef exports to China for the first time in 13 years. Since mid-June, U.S. beef exports to the world’s most populous nation have already totaled more than 3.4 million pounds valued at $17.2 million.
“American agricultural companies compete worldwide, and I am incredibly proud of the role that the Agricultural Marketing Service plays to support the jobs these businesses create across the country,” said Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “Every day they provide the agriculture industry valuable services with the integrity and customer focus Secretary Perdue expects of all USDA staff to ensure the quality and availability of wholesome food for consumers across the country.”
A new infographic highlights AMS accomplishments in 2017 in support of American farmers, ranchers and businesses.
Other agricultural products inspected or certified by AMS for export last year include 145.3 million metric tons of U.S. grains and 1.6 billion shell eggs. AMS issued over 44,000 export certificates for American dairy farmers, producers and exporters contributing to the $5.3 billion in milk and dairy exports from the United States in 2017. The Pre-Export Check program issued over 13,000 certificates for 583 million pounds of U.S. almonds, worth $1.7 billion, destined for sale in the European Union.
Domestically, AMS staff graded or inspected 20.9 billion pounds of beef, 75.1 million pounds of lamb, 27.5 million pounds of veal/calf, 7.5 billion pounds of poultry, 44.4 billion shell eggs, 1 billion pounds of butter, 12.5 billion pounds of processed fruit and vegetable products, and 52 billion pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. The AMS Cotton Program is on course to classify samples from over 20 million bales by the end of the current season in June 2018.
AMS supported USDA’s National School Lunch Program with purchases of over 1.6 billion pounds of food, including fruits, vegetables, meats and grains. Agency staff also inspected over 223 million servings of military combat rations to help ensure the quality of meals prepared for American troops.
In 2017, the agency initiated nearly $1 million in new public/private cooperative research agreements and workshops aimed at improving transportation infrastructure for agricultural exporters. This work will enable transportation planners, providers, and customers at the federal, state, and local levels to improve shipping infrastructure for U.S. exports from rural America to international markets.