In 2019, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service established or strengthened a broad set of programs.
“This year AMS supported new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers and also continued our efforts to improve and modernize resources to better serve our customers,” said AMS Administrator Bruce Summers. “Whether it’s a dairy product, your favorite fruit, vegetable or nut, the meat you grill, or even the cotton in your clothes, it’s likely that an AMS employee worked with industry to ensure products with a USDA shield or label meet standards you can trust.”
Here's a closer look at some AMS efforts in 2019.
- U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program - In October, AMS established a program to enable the domestic production of hemp nationwide for the first time in nearly 80 years. The ability to grow hemp represents a new economic opportunity for our farmers and will pave the way for new products and markets over time. With the establishment of regulations for the production of hemp, AMS provided a consistent regulatory framework for producers.
- AMS established first-ever fresh fluid milk purchase for food banks - For the first time, USDA purchased Fresh Fluid Milk for distribution to food banks and food insecure households. This new purchase program addresses the surplus of fluid milk across the United States and provides food to families in need. Since the launch of the fluid milk procurement program, AMS has purchased $53 million of fluid milk, which equates to 18.5 million gallons and 4,900 truckloads.
- Food Purchase and Distribution Program - AMS, in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Service, administered a food purchase and distribution program to purchase $1.094 billion worth of tariff-impacted products including pork, dairy, pulse crops, and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. More than 27,000 truckloads carrying 1.009 billion pounds of agricultural products were distributed across all states, supporting 26 agricultural markets. The food was provided to food banks and pantries serving families across the nation.
- Customer service and program modernization - AMS modernized IT systems for billions of dollars in food purchases; worked to strengthen the integrity of the USDA Organic label; increased the use of technology in AMS grading programs; and deployed new data systems for agricultural commodity price data and an open data visualization platform for transportation data.