Like hundreds of other non-profit farm organizations, farmer cooperatives and small- to medium-sized businesses, USW uses MAP and FMD funds to help build overseas demand for U.S. agricultural products. Tracy says most of that funding provides training and technical assistance to wheat buyers and wheat food processors. 

“We bring them to the United States so they can learn and understand our export system, the different types wheat we produce and its qualities,” he adds. “We help them introduce new products in their own markets — whatever it takes to expand the export opportunities for U.S. wheat.” 

In the presentation, Keith Kisling, an Oklahoma wheat grower and past USW Chairman, and Randy Suess, a Washington wheat grower and current USW vice-chairman, discuss the disparity between U.S. export investment and foreign government spending. 

“In my travels, I saw a lot of countries that export wheat being very aggressive,” Kisling says. “And we have to be right there and compete with them.” 

“When I look at how much other foreign countries spend on their export programs,” Suess says, “it make ours look pretty miniscule.” 

A study by USDA, for example, showed that in 2002, foreign competitors were spending an estimated $1.2 billion every year on agricultural export market development. In 2010, the European Union alone spent $1.4 billion to promote agricultural products in domestic and export markets.

“In contrast, the MAP and FMD programs currently provide an annual, combined total of $235 million to support U.S. agricultural export promotion. 
With an annual investment of more than $13 million in cash plus goods and services from 19 state wheat commissions, USW qualifies for about $13 million in MAP and FMD funds. It is an investment partnership that provides an excellent return to wheat growers and the U.S. economy. 

“For every one dollar wheat farmers use in conjunction with these USDA dollars, we receive $115 gross revenue back,” Suess says. “And that isn’t just sent to the farmers, but it’s also for industry people and for people in the entire United States. So we’ve got a great success story.” 

For more information about the presentation, MAP and FMD, or to receive a DVD, contact USW at, (703) 650-0251 or at . For more information about how to contact members of Congress, talk to your state wheat association or state wheat commission. 

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries on behalf of America's wheat producers. The activities of USW are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

For more information, visit or contact your state wheat commission.