Grassley Praises Trade Education Initiative
WASHINGTON – A farmer-owned food company based in Kansas City, Mo., has a tradeeducation program that could serve as a model for hundreds of other companies, Sen. ChuckGrassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, said today.
Farmland describes itself as a farmer-owned food company with more than 600,000 ownersin the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company’s trade education program “Support Trade,For Farmers, For Farmland, For You” won the 2001 National Agri-Marketing Association’s awardfor Best of Show.
“Trade is vital to the United States economy generally, and to our farmers in particular, asagriculture makes an enormous and valuable contribution as our third-largest export,” Grassley wrotein a letter to Farmland’s president. “Increased market opportunities in agricultural trade are oftremendous importance to American farmers and to our economy. That is why I applaud your effortsto inform and mobilize the farming community in support of open markets.”
Grassley said information campaigns are needed. Despite the importance of internationaltrade to the U.S. economy, a recent survey conducted by the Women in International Tradeorganization showed that only 37 percent of Americans feel they are very or fairly knowledgeableabout trade issues. Sixty-two percent of Americans think they have only a little knowledge or arenot knowledgeable at all about international trade.
The text of Grassley’s letter follows.
May 2, 2001
Mr. Robert Honse
President & CEO
Farmland Industries, Inc.
12200 N. Ambassador Dr.
Kansas City, MO 64163
I recently read that Farmland’s trade education program, “Support Trade, For Farmers, ForFarmland, For You” was selected to receive the 2001 National Agri-Marketing Association’s awardfor Best of Show. Congratulations on this impressive achievement!
Farmland Industries clearly understands the important role of international trade to theagriculture industry. As the only working family farmer in the United States Senate and chairmanof the Senate Committee on Finance, I also appreciate the importance of international trade toAmerica’s farmers. International trade has a significant impact on my home state of Iowa, withagriculture exports contributing more than $5 billion a year to Iowa’s economy. Nationwide,approximately $6 million in agriculture products, such as grains, oilseed, cotton, meats, andvegetables are processed for export every day. These exports generate more than $100 billion intotal business activity, and sustain nearly a million American jobs.
Trade is vital to the United States economy generally, and to our farmers in particular, asagriculture makes an enormous and valuable contribution as our third-largest export. Increasedmarket opportunities in agricultural trade are of tremendous importance to American farmers andto our economy. That is why I applaud your efforts to inform and mobilize the farming communityin support of open markets.
The “Support Trade” program sponsored by Farmland Industries, and the communicationsteam led by Sherlyn Manson and David Eaheart, addressed a vitally important issue through aprogram that has informed and enlightened farmers at the grass roots level on the importance ofinternational trade.
You are to be highly commended for your leadership. Too few companies appreciate theimportance of trade education at the grass roots level. Farmland Industries is truly a leader whoseexample I hope others will emulate.
I look forward to working with you during this session of Congress as we address suchimportant international trade issues as renewing trade promotion authority for President Bush,continuing normal trade relations for the People’s Republic of China, passing normal trade relationsfor Vietnam, and preparing for the launch of a new round of World Trade Organization negotiationsthis November.
Again, congratulations for your selection as the recipient of the 2001 NationalAgri-Marketing Association’s Best of Show.
Charles E. Grassley
CC: Mr. Al Shivley
Chairman of the Board
Farmland Industries, Inc.
55 West Bromley Lane
Brighton, CO 80601
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