International trade is an important contributor to economic prosperity in Iowa and the nation.
While some parts of the world economy are sluggish, Iowa's agricultural products and those of other farm states remain highly marketable and continue to sell well abroad.
The export of agricultural products is truly one of the brightest spots in overall trade picture for our nation.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said earlier this month that the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects American farm exports to be their second highest ever in 2012. According to a statement released by the USDA Oct. 17, from 2009-2012 "exports of U.S. food and agricultural products will achieve the four best years in the nation's history."
And the future looks very good indeed. It is estimated by the USDA that 2013 could be an even better year than 2012 with agricultural exports forecast to reach a record $143.5 billion.
Agricultural sales outside the U.S. contribute significantly to the health of the U.S. economy. They help make the U.S. trade balance more positive while creating jobs not only on farms, but also in a wide array of industries such as processing, packaging and transportation.
Here in Iowa, an aggressive commitment to selling the state's products abroad is a key part of the economic strategy Gov. Terry Branstad, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Economic Development Director Debi Durham have pursued.
The Messenger applauds that commitment to marketing Iowa's agricultural products and strongly backs the carefully crafted initiatives being pursued by Northey, Durham and other officials in the agencies they lead.
As the U.S. economy slowly gains strength, the farm sector's sales worldwide will be an important contributor to that recovery.