President Barack Obama announced during his visit to Cuba last month that the country will now have opportunities to work with United States agriculture and food sectors.
“The United States Department of Agriculture will allow the 22 industry-funded research and promotion programs and 18 marketing order organizations to conduct authorized research and information exchange activities with Cuba,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who was also on the trip, said.
These industry-funded groups include U.S beef, pork, corn, soy and other commodities that create bonds with consumers and businesses around the world to promote U.S. agriculture services.
“[It is] a significant step forward in strengthening our bond and broadening agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba,” Vilsack said.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the American Feed Industry Association, the American Soybean Association, Illinois Soybean Growers, International Dairy Foods Association, the National Black Growers Council, and the National Farmers Union are among the groups excited about the announcement and the potential it offers.
"American-grown foods hold a clear competitive advantage in the Cuban marketplace, and the use of farmer- and rancher-generated funds to promote and market U.S. farm goods fits the checkoff mission perfectly,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “This announcement by USDA represents a major boost in growing the Cuban market that sits just 90 miles off our coast."