April 10, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Agriculture and Industries, Department of

"Trading With the World" ~ Ag Commissioner Outlines "Global Approach" to Grow Alabama's Largest Industry, Creating Jobs and Opportunity

MONTGOMERY - Alabama agriculture exports, now at $1 billion, must double in the next decade if we are to keep up with world food demand and remain competitive in the international marketplace, according to Commissioner John McMillan of the state Department of Agriculture & Industries.


Alabama farmers and agribusinesses must adopt what McMillan calls a "global approach" to agriculture production.  To this end, the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries on May 15 will hold a one-day conference for farmers and agribusinesses to provide insights on international trade and how to export products to foreign markets.


"Exports mean jobs and greater opportunity for Alabamians. Our competitors, especially Canada, have in recent years moved aggressively into international markets and taken a major position in agricultural exports," McMillan said. "Conditions for international trade are improving, one of which includes recent passage of Free Trade Agreements with three nations."


McMillan announced the one-day conference, entitled "Trading With the World," to be held at the Birmingham Marriott. Registration is open to farmers and agribusinesses. There is no charge for attendance and registration is limited to 125. Deadline is April 30.


"Our goal is to help Alabama farmers and agribusinesses learn the process of international trade and expand their opportunities in export sales, especially as new foreign markets are opening up with the recently passed Free Trade Agreements," McMillan said.


The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) is a co-sponsor in the conference, providing expert advice on how to lessen the risks of international marketing. SUSTA offers a range of services to producers, manufacturers and distributors of U.S. agricultural products.


Other presenters include persons from the Alabama International Trade Center, Alabama Department of Commerce (formerly the Alabama Development Office), Alabama State Port Authority, Alabama Legislature, Bremen Investments, and BLG Logistics.


Admission to the conference is free. To sign up, go to https://sites.google.com/site/exportingalabamaagriculture/home and click on the registration tab. For more information, contact: Deputy Commissioner Brett Hall at 334-240-7101 or brett.hall@agi.alabama.gov.


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  • For more information, visit http://agi.alabama.gov
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