Countering Negative and Poorly Informed Reporting about U.S. Agricultural Practices and Consumer Choice

Funding Opportunity Title: Countering Negative and Poorly Informed Reporting about U.S. Agricultural Practices and Consumer Choice – Creating U.S. Jobs and Economic Opportunities in Agriculture
Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-London-PD-2019-CA-020
Deadline for Applications: August 2, 2019, 17:00 GMT
CFDA Number: 19.451
Total Amount Available: $60,000 to $75,000


Program Description

Promoting American jobs and exports is a top priority for the U.S. Administration. Equally important is supporting UK efforts to remain an economically prosperous, outward-looking, and market oriented country that shares our values, outlook and business practices. A post-Brexit U.S.-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the best way to achieve both goals. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions in the UK about U.S. agricultural practices and standards. These have created strong public opposition to U.S. products and could jeopardize a FTA. The misconceptions include animal welfare standards, GMOs and labeling, and the use of antibiotics in livestock production. Media stories about “industrial scale” U.S. agriculture, usually focused on so-called “chlorinated chickens,” are negative, misleading, and often inaccurate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) commissioned a comprehensive consumer attitudes survey in connection with Gallup to determine the depth of the problem. The data indicates much work is needed to neutralize or reverse current trends and to provide the British public a more nuanced view of United States agriculture practices and consumer choice. In the past 12 months, twice as many UK residents say they have heard negative news about food produced in the United States (46%) as opposed to positive news (24%). Almost half of the poll responders (48%) are unaware of the USDA or its food safety programs. Just 1% of British consumers would buy American meat over British.

We seek to create a five- to seven-day exchange program that explores U.S. agricultural practices, from production to labeling to selling, that will deepen influential UK journalists’ and food activists’ understanding of the U.S. food ecosystem and promote U.S. agricultural exports. Participants will explore small, medium, and large farms representing various certification standards (organic, natural, conventional), research institutions supporting science-based agricultural practices, government agencies that focus on ensuring food is nutritious and safe, and other relevant institutions connected to U.S. farming. The locations should be carefully chosen to be geographically and culturally diverse and reflect the breadth of choice the U.S. consumer has when making food decisions. Strictly subject to the availability of funds, the Embassy of the United States in London expects to select one program implementer for a grant award between $60,000 and $75,000.

Program Objectives

The Embassy of the United States in London expects the program to:

  • Expose skeptical UK based agricultural, business, consumer, food, and environmental journalists to U.S. farming practices, policies and products.
  • Challenge pre-conceived notions about the role of innovative technologies and U.S. practices often mischaracterized or reported on in the UK.
  • Inform UK journalists about the layers of U.S. policy at the local, state, and federal level, as well as the role of consumers and companies in food policies and procedures.
  • Give British participants first-hand cultural insights into the United States.

Participants and Audiences

Five UK-based journalists who cover a range of agricultural issues. The Embassy of the United
States in London will select participants for the exchange program.

How To Apply & Deadline

The full details of this Funding Opportunity are available for download as a PDF (11 pages) or can be viewed online at

Instructions on how to apply are at

Applications must be received before Close of Business (17:00 GMT on August 2nd, 2019.