Reynolds to lead first all-Iowa farm trade mission to China

Source: By William Petroski, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, June 1, 2017

Gov. Kim Reynolds will lead a first-ever, all-Iowa agricultural trade mission to China in July with the goal of bolstering exports of the state’s farm commodities.

Reynolds, who became the state’s chief executive last week after former Gov. Terry Branstad became U.S. ambassador to China, said Tuesday that the 10-day trip will be significant because all of Iowa’s farm groups have not previously joined together for overseas trade mission.

“There is no better time than now to market and pitch our products in China,” Reynolds said. “Our relationship with the country is strong, and their growing middle class means increasing purchasing power and Iowa stands to gain significantly as a result.”

The trade mission was announced at an Iowa Capitol news conference where Reynolds was joined by representatives of the Iowa Farm Bureau and commodity groups representing Iowa’s corn, pork, soybean, beef, egg, poultry, dairy and turkey industries.

The trip is scheduled for July 19-28. Reynolds said the Iowans will be working to build relationships, understanding and trust with hopes of opening new possibilities for agricultural products. The Iowans will meet with Chinese government officials and industry partners, as well as Ambassador Branstad in Beijing.

“This is a historic mission,” said Craig Floss, chief executive officer of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.