Ag Secretary Calls for Infrastructure Improvement During Visit to Port of Houston

HOUSTON, Jan. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Renewed investment is needed in ports and other transportation infrastructure to help boost trade, United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday at the Port of Houston.

In a speech at the Louis Dreyfus Commodities Grain Elevator, which is located along the Houston Ship Channel and is used by shippers to export large volumes of grain to other countries, Vilsack highlighted the benefits of increasing exports and the need for improving the nation's infrastructure.

"All of these ships and all of this equipment mean jobs," Vilsack said.

Vilsack toured the export facility before his speech.

He highlighted the importance of agricultural trade for the economy of Texas and the nation. The past six years have been the strongest in history for agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $771 billion since 2009.

Roger Guenther, Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority, welcomed the Secretary to the Port of Houston.

"Agriculture products were the primary cargo when the channel was officially opened in 1914 - it is part of our heritage and remains an important cargo for the Port of Houston Authority," Guenther said.

Joining Vilsack and Guenther was Steve Campbell, Executive Vice President, head of Grains Platform, North America, for Louis Dreyfus Commodities, who also gave brief remarks at Thursday's event.

About the Port of Houston Authority

For nearly 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned or operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation's largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage. The port is an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of more than one million statewide jobs and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs, and the generation of economic activity totaling more than $178.5 billion in Texas and $499 billion across the nation. For more information, visit the Port Authority website at:

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CONTACT: Bill Hensel, Manager, Corporate Communications Office: (713) 670-2893 Cell: (832) 452-5776 E-mail:

Source:Port of Houston Authority