March 17, 2015
Lincoln, Neb. — Phil Karsting, Nebraska native and Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently visited the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Karsting, who received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from UNL in 1985, met with IANR administrators and faculty, and with students in the Department of Agricultural Economics.
President Obama is currently highlighting trade as a focus of his administration. The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is responsible for developing foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products and for overseeing food aid programs.
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership will benefit farmers, ranchers, and businesses by reducing or eliminating import tariffs and increasing export of U.S. agricultural products, including Nebraska-grown corn, soybeans, and beef, Karsting said. The partnership is a trade agreement being negotiated by the U.S. and other Pacific-rim nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Every $1 billion worth of agricultural exports supports nearly 7,000 jobs in the U.S., and generates an additional $1.29 billion in domestic economic activity, said Karsting, who worked in his family’s farm supply business in Blue Hill while he was growing up. Before becoming head of FAS, Karsting was a Washington-based congressional aide, staffer, and civil servant for more than 20 years.Linda Ulrich
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources