The Southern United States Trade Association, a non-profit, was recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and given the "Secretary's Honor Award" for promoting small business exports. This is the highest award given by the U.S.D.A.

The Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) recently was awarded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Secretary's Honor Award," the highest award granted by the department, for its role in helping small businesses increase exports of American food and agriculture.

"Over the years, we've helped hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses expand internationally, from helping them research foreign markets to connecting them with importers at the many trade events we do around the world," said SUSTA executive director Jerry Hingle. "It's always thrilling to see these companies become successful exporters because of what we do, and
we're honored by USDA's recognition."

This is the first time that SUSTA has been recognized with this annual award.

The National Export Initiative seeks to double U.S. exports by 2014. Already, America's agricultural exports are on track to exceed that goal, with exports reaching record levels and up 50% in just the past three years. Key to this is getting more small businesses to succeed in the international marketplace.

"U.S. agriculture has a great story to tell," Hingle said. "Global demand for U.S. food and agriculture is growing rapidly thanks to our reputation for quality and safety." Not only are farmers in rural America benefiting, but manufacturers and trading companies in urban areas also are growing and hiring thanks to this surge.
In addition to export education, SUSTA offers export promotion and funding for small firms so they gain exposure in overseas markets. More information about SUSTA programs and services can be found online at

The Southern United States Trade Association is a non-profit trade development association composed of the Departments of Agriculture from 15 southern states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Since 1973, SUSTA's programs and services have assisted exporters of high-value food and agricultural products. SUSTA is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), its member states and private companies.

To read the original, visit: