WASHINGTON, July 14, 2016—The White House Rural Council (WHRC), today announced a workshop series to provide targeted assistance for rural small businesses working to grow demand through international sales. The announcement was made by WHRC Chair Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman.
The free series includes at least 60 Made in Rural America small business export workshops hosted by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in 24 states July 26 to Aug. 31, 2016. One workshop will be held in Valdosta, Georgia on Aug. 23, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Click here to view the agenda and register online. Partners including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, USDA Rural Business Service, the Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, National Association of Counties and others will also provide local and regional expertise in international shipping and mailing, international marketing assistance, rural business development and related topics.
To find a Made in Rural American workshop in your area visit usps.com/events and click your state. The site will be updated as details for each workshop becomes available and additional workshops are added. Online tools designed for rural businesses interested in international exports include www.export.gov/rural and www.business.usa.gov.
Census data from 2009 to 2014 (latest available) shows that the ranks of U.S. goods exporters rose from 277,000 to 304,000—and 98 percent of those companies were small and medium-sized firms. U.S. exports reached $2.26 trillion in 2015, up by $678 billion from 2009, and supported 1.9 million more jobs during the period.
U.S. agricultural exports alone supported more than 1 million American jobs both on and off the farm, a substantial part of the estimated 11.5 million jobs supported by exports all across our country. The past seven years have represented the strongest period in history for American agricultural exports, with international sales of U.S. farm and food products totaling $911.4 billion between fiscal years 2009 and 2015. In fiscal year 2015, American farmers and ranchers exported $139.7 billion of food and agricultural goods to consumers worldwide.