The Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, a highly successful public-private partnership program used to help domestic industries build markets abroad for American products, is no longer issuing funds to cooperator organizations due to the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill. Within the wheat industry, FMD is a critical source of funding U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) uses to promote exports in more than 100 countries. USW is continuing operations in the short term using other sources of funding, but FMD’s inactivity means the organization and others like it will have to cut back activities, which will hurt farmers because demand for their commodities around the world will decline.
NAWG strongly believes funding for FMD and other export market development programs must be restored quickly for the benefit of the wheat industry and the larger economy. Studies have shown that every dollar spent on market development programs increases ag exports by $35; within the wheat industry, the ROI is about $115 to $1 through a direct effect on wheat prices and wheat farmer income.