USDA is seeking members to serve on the Board of Evaluators for the Edward R. Madigan United States Agricultural Export Excellence Award Program. This award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurial efforts to expand U.S. agricultural exports.

“Former Secretary Madigan recognized that strong export growth is vital to the prosperity of rural communities across America,” said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. “Because of his significant contributions to developing market-oriented agricultural policies, this award bearing his name honors those who have made outstanding contributions to U.S. agriculture’s export success.”

Congress established the Edward R. Madigan U.S. Agricultural Export Excellence Award in 1996 as part of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act. The award is presented to businesses or individuals who have significantly developed or expanded agricultural export markets, developed new agricultural products or services for export markets, or successfully marketed such products or services.

The six-member Board of Evaluators operates under a federal charter. Board members will be selected for their knowledge and experience in exporting U.S. agricultural products. They will be appointed by the secretary of agriculture, and generally serve three-year terms. The board will meet to review and evaluate all nominations for the Madigan Award before making recommendations to the agriculture secretary.

Edward R. Madigan, a former Congressman from Illinois, served as the 24th secretary of agriculture. Hailed for recognizing the importance of expanding U.S. exports across the globe, Madigan helped craft the 1985 and 1990 farm bills, reshaping U.S. farm policy so that farmers could respond more effectively to market signals and trade trends.

Written nominations, along with required forms, must be received by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service by Sept. 1. All nominating materials should be sent to Dale Miller either by U.S. mail at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Trade Programs, Mail Stop 1020, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-1020; or by hand delivery, including FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc., at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Trade Programs, Portals Office Building, Suite 400, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20024.

People who require an alternative means for communication of information — e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape — should contact USDA’s Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

For more information on the Edward R. Madigan United States Agricultural Export Excellence Award, contact Miller by e-mail: Dale.Miller@fas.usda.gov; or by telephone: (202) 690-0752.