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WASHINGTON, June 21, 2005 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today announced more than $400,000 worth of funding for five projects under the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) Program. The funding will help U.S. exporters address sanitary, phytosanitary or other technical barriers that prohibit or threaten exports of U.S. specialty crops.

The TASC Program was established by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and is designed to help open, retain and expand markets for U.S. specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts and other horticultural products.

"The TASC program provides important benefits to the specialty crops industry, particularly in resolving sanitary and phytosanitary barriers that restrict U.S. agricultural exports," said FAS Administrator A. Ellen Terpstra.

FAS is currently accepting additional applications for fiscal year 2005 funding. The deadline is July 1, 2005. For additional information on the TASC Program or any FAS market development program, contact the Marketing Operations Staff at (202) 720-4327.

Under the February 2005 application cycle, funding was awarded to the following recipients:

TASC Funding Recipient Commodity Benefited Amount
Ginseng Board of Wisconsin Ginseng


National Potato Council Potatoes


Northwest Horticultural Council Apples


Regents of the University of California, Riverside Navel oranges


Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association Christmas trees





PR 0082-05

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