BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring encourages North Dakota food companies with overseas exports to participate in the 2012 Branded Program for financial assistance in promoting their brand name food and agricultural products in foreign markets.

“This is a major opportunity for export companies to reach more overseas customers,” Goehring said. “Participants receive up to 50 percent cost reimbursement on eligible marketing and promotional activities such as advertising, public relations, product literature and labeling.”

The Branded Program is administered by the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA.

Goehring said the application deadline period is Oct. 31. Interested companies can start submitting prequalification sheets at

“Approval is on a first-come, first-serve basis,” he said. “Funds may not be available after deadline.”

Participants must be small (by federal standards), U.S.-based companies or agricultural producer cooperatives, producing food or pet and livestock feed products. They must be registered business entities with a brand name and with at least $100,000 in gross sales the previous year.

Qualifying products, including value-added commodity products and some personal care products, must contain at least 50 percent U.S. agricultural materials or ingredients.

More information about Branded Program is available by contacting Stephanie Sinner, NDDA marketing specialist, at (701) 239-7211 or, or the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA at (312) 334.9200. Additional information is available at

The Food Export Association of the Midwest USA is a private, non-profit association of 12 midwestern state agricultural promotion agencies that use federal, state, and industry resources to promote the export of food and agricultural products. Funding for the Branded Program is provided by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.