The first ever all-Iowa agriculture trade mission to China will take place this summer, with Governor Kim Reynolds leading representatives from all of Iowa’s main agriculture commodity groups.
Pork, beef, turkey, corn, soybean, egg and dairy producers will visit with government officials in Beijing, Shanghai and Xian to encourage more purchase of Iowa commodities.
"Personal relationships and friendships are significant in the Chinese culture," Reynolds said at her first statehouse news conference since being sworn into office last week. “If Iowa farmers want to be the main supplier of choice to China's one-point-four billion people, one of the world's biggest customers, that's where we'll go.”
Over three percent of Iowa pork and one in four rows of Iowa soybeans are already being exported to China. Producers of other commodities see a new opportunity to bring down barriers to products.
"I've had the opportunity to travel to China about 20 times for Iowa soybean farmers," said Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds. "This is an historic trip as we take, really, all of the major ag commodity groups and farm organizations to China."
“There is no better time than now to market and pitch our products in China,” said Reynolds. “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 commodity groups will cover the cost of the trip scheduled for July 19th through the 28th.
Reynolds said the ag groups approached her with the idea before she took office.
“And so from that meeting when I said I would be honored to lead that trade mission we started putting the plans together,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds led five trade missions to China while serving as lieutenant governor.
The delegation plans to visit new U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.