U.S. ag secretary: Deal with Japan will help Oklahoma exports

BY TOM VILSACK Published: February 2, 2013
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USDA also has helped conduct more than 110 trade shows around the world for U.S. businesses — most of them small or medium sized. The trade shows helped more than 1,000 U.S. companies generate nearly $500 million in on-site sales.

Ultimately, increasing American exports helps us to lay the groundwork for a stronger national economy. Agricultural exports not only support more than 1 million jobs right here at home, but since 2009, agricultural exports have also helped fuel growth in net farm income from just $85 billion in 2008 to $114 billion last year.

Today we have a historic opportunity to build on our success and enhance the tremendous benefits for rural America that come with increased agricultural trade. And as consumers around the world demand high-quality, American-grown products, USDA staff will be positioned around the world, monitoring more than 160 markets to ensure a level playing field for U.S. businesses and products.

Vilsack is U.S. secretary of agriculture.