USMEF’s Hanes Elected Chairman of USAEDC
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The U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization made up of commodity trade associations, farmer cooperatives and state and regional trade groups that export a variety of U.S. agricultural products around the world, recently elected Greg Hanes as its chairman.
Hanes, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) assistant vice president for international marketing and programs, will be serving a two-year term. As USAEDC chairman, Hanes will work with members to develop unified messages to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and to promote programs that benefit ag exporters.
The timing of his election places Hanes in the chairman’s role at a very crucial time for U.S. agricultural exports. The new Farm Bill is being crafted, and the next year will be extremely important to USMEF and all the cooperator organizations. While protecting current funding levels for USDA programs like the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program is crucial to U.S. ag exporters, Hanes says USAEDC will also be working to get funding for those programs increased for the first time in more than two decades.
Ralph Loos: Greg Hanes, U.S. Meat Export Federation assistant vice president for international marketing and programs, was recently elected chairman of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council. As chairman, Hanes will work with members to develop unified messages to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and to promote programs that benefit ag exports, including the USDA Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program. In this USMEF report, Hanes explains why his election comes at a very crucial time for U.S. agricultural exports.
Greg Hanes: One of the biggest challenges we face now obviously is the Farm Bill, that will be coming up next year. Both the MAP and FMD and other programs that the cooperators use are all part of the Farm Bill. So, with the current mood in Washington, and the moves toward more budget cuts and reductions in programs, this is going to be a very important time for us to make sure we can get the funding for these programs that we need and demonstrate the impact they have – not only to the ag community but also, I think to the general economy. That would really one of the key focuses that we’re going to be having over the next year or so. It will be that push to get the Farm Bill approved.
Ralph Loos: Hanes says USAEDC is not only working to protect key USDA programs from cuts in the new farm Bill, but actually hoping to boost funding.
Greg Hanes: The program funding hasn’t changed since I think 1994, for these programs, so really just that loss of the programs just to inflations is huge. So there’s also an effort to try and increase funding for these programs. That’s a double challenge for us in an environment where they are looking to not only cut programs but to get rid of them. And if we’re trying to increase them that’s going to be a big push for the organization and all the members involved.
Ralph Loos: For more information, please visit USMEF.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Ralph Loos.