Seminar to offer help with ag exporting

An upcoming seminar will offer information about how Colorado companies can tap into funding to help them develop agricultural exports.

“I hope more Colorado companies will participate in this program,” said Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar. “Developing exports is critical to our state’s economy, and these funds can help companies develop or expand export markets.”

The support for exporting seminar is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 15 in Lakewood and will feature speakers from the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association.

The seminar will offer information about available funding for international marketing activities and promotions, including participation in international and domestic trade shows. The seminar also will help participants determine whether or not their products are ready for export.

Over the past three years, Colorado companies have received a total of 44 grants for a combined $1.15 million  through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Market Access Program to support efforts to develop or expand agricultural exports.

Companies have used grants to cover travel expenses to domestic and international trade shows, pay for advertising and promotional expenses and comply with labeling requirements.

The value of Colorado agricultural exports during the first two months of 2012 totalled $222 million, an increase of $45 million from the same span last year.

The 25 percent gain constituted the fourth year in a row ag exports have increased on a year-over-year basis during the first two months of the year.

In addition to the seminar, the Colorado Department of Agriculture offers assistance from international marketing specialists. Besides their help in accessing USDA funding for exporters, specialists offer training for export operations, assessment of market options and assistance with international finance.

For more information about assistance with exporting agricultural products, call (303) 239-4118 or log on to the Web site at www.coloradoagriculture.com/exporter.