U.S. Wheat farmers boost global food assistance with new USDA funds

USAgNet - 04/19/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a $1 billion funding program aimed at enhancing global food security. This initiative will procure, transport, and distribute U.S. wheat and other commodities for USAID’s international food assistance programs.

Michael Peters, an Oklahoma wheat farmer and Chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), expressed pride in American wheat farmers' readiness to address worldwide food needs. This effort is a continuation of the U.S.'s long-standing commitment to global food assistance, which has seen over one million metric tons of wheat donated annually in recent years.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's announcement of the new funds was warmly received by USW and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), recognizing the support from senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman. The funding aims not only to alleviate hunger but also to bolster the U.S. wheat industry’s role in international markets.

NAWG President Keeff Felty highlighted the critical timing of the support, noting it addresses urgent humanitarian needs. As the Farm Bill is reauthorized, NAWG continues to advocate for enhanced commodity donation programs and additional funding for trade promotion efforts.

Commodity donations, especially wheat, play a vital role in USAID’s Food for Peace programs, according to Amanda Hoey, CEO of the Oregon Wheat Commission. She emphasized wheat's significance in emergency food supplies and the U.S. farmers’ generosity in supporting global food aid initiatives.

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