Last year, the Market Access Program was targeted for a 20 percent cut. Is the program intact for FY 2012 budget year?

“To be candid, there was a proposal to reduce it last year. But it was offset by increases in other export assistance programs. We hadn’t provided additional resources for cooperators for some time and felt there needed to be a proper balance.

In the current budget, “we’ve kept the MAP at its budgeted level from last year so there’s no reduction. And we’ve actually added an additional $20 million to our national export initiative efforts to see if we can get more resources to cooperators, more opportunities for trade shows and exhibits. Why? Because we’re seeing a very, very strong demand for American agricultural products. That’s one reason we’re seeing good prices, right now, for a lot of our commodities and livestock.”