STOWE, Vt., Aug. 3—Agriculture stands at the forefront of America’s economic recovery, said Michael Scuse, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary of Food and Foreign Agricultural Services, at the 28th International Sweetener Symposium. 


Farmers and ranchers “have been winning the future for more than 200 years,” he said, referring to the White House’s plan to rebuild the U.S. economy around improved innovation and expanded trade. “America has much to gain from the can-do spirit and innovative nature of our producers.”


Scuse noted that agriculture would set new export records this year with $137 billion of goods shipped and a $40 billion trade surplus, and that strong farm policies are the key to continued success.


“Hopefully, the next Farm Bill will continue to provide a strong safety net for our farmers and ranchers across the United States,” he told the group. “I think the Farm Bill is working as it was designed in a responsible way.”


Sugar policy is recently receiving tremendous support because it operates at no cost to the federal budget. Scuse said he believed the USDA is running the policy effectively, and he believes the Department can continue to run this policy in a way that meets future demand.


Scuse noted that, despite tight world sugar supplies, the United States would have reasonable ending stocks. The USDA predicts that the country will end this crop year with more than 1.5 million tons of surplus sugar.


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