Keeping the U.S. competitive

Americans eat a lot, yet only around 5 percent of the world’s population lives in the United States, leaving billions of mouths to be fed elsewhere.

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to help American farmers, businesses and workers earn and maintain a sizeable share of that world marketplace.

After extensive analysis, Farm Bureau came out in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership earlier this year. In doing so, Farm Bureau noted that net agricultural exports in Ohio would increase by $96.7 million per year and result in adding more than 730 jobs to the state’s economy.

If ratified by Congress, TPP would be the largest trade agreement in history. It has been a hot topic this presidential campaign season. Currently, the earliest a vote on its ratification may happen is during the lame duck session of Congress after the November election.

Ohio is the nation’s 9th largest exporting state, selling to more than 200 different countries. Supplying foreign buyers creates jobs in manufacturing, transportation, finance and many other areas, including farms. Nationally, agriculture is a large positive contributor to the nation’s balance of trade.

Recently Ohio Farm Bureau’s Town Hall Ohio radio program hosted someone who’d like to keep it that way. Guest Phil Karsting heads up the Foreign Ag Service and spoke on the program about the opportunities and challenges of feeding the world.

THO-web-imageTown Hall Ohio is Ohio Farm Bureau’s weekly, one-hour public affairs radio program that airs on WTVN Radio, Columbus, and other stations throughout the state. Subjects include government and politics, jobs and the economy, food and food production, education, science and technology, business challenges and social issues. Listen to shows at