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USDA releases four pillars of agriculture

Came as part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Conference

By Diego Flammini,

As part of the 10th Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Conference held in Memphis, Tennessee, American Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and delegates from 34 countries released a factsheet outlining four pillars important to agriculture and rural economic development.

When it comes to production agriculture, the four pillars are:

Opening Foreign Markets
The USDA is working to open new markets worldwide for farm and ranch products. Trade agreements with countries including Panama, Colombia and South Korea are estimated to generate an extra $2.3 billion in agricultural trade annually which can result in as many as 20,000 jobs in the United States.

Breaking Down Barriers
The USDA’s tireless efforts to remove barriers between the United States and other countries resulted in the removal of unfair restrictions between the US and China. American apple farmers will have access to the Chinese market, estimated to be worth about $100 million per year.


Expanded exports of American beef and beef products to places like Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Uruguay will help surpass last year’s mark that saw beef exports worth $6.8 billion.

Expanding Access to Credit
Support from the USDA has made it possible for more than 89,000 rural small businesses to grow through grant and loan opportunities. That support helped create or save more than 420,000 jobs.

Researching New Methods
USDA scientists and university partnerships are consistently conducting research to help farmers and businesses expand and produce more.

Tell us your thoughts on the subjects the USDA is focusing on when it comes to improving agriculture and rural economies. Is there something you think they’ve forgotten?

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