Indiana Lt. Governor’s Ag Trade Mission Underway

Ted McKinney
Ted McKinney

A Hoosier agricultural delegation led by Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann is in China. This is Ellspermann’s second trade mission to Asia, but this time she is focusing strictly on meetings in China. ISDA director Ted McKinney, who is traveling with the delegation, says China is an important market for Indiana, “China is the 5th largest trading partner with the US and growing rapidly. It is a country you cannot ignore on any level and that includes agriculture.” The trip will include visits with national and provincial governmental and agricultural leaders to promote trade opportunities for Indiana’s agricultural products.  Special activities will celebrate Indiana’s sister-state relationship with Zhejiang Province.

“These trade missions are important first steps in building relationships with government and business leaders upon which future trade agreements can based,” stated Ellspermann. “Our itinerary will take us into an interior agricultural province not frequently visited by trade delegations where we can share information about the high value of Indiana agricultural innovation and research.”

Dave Lowe, with ISA, and Denny Maple, ICMC, are part of the delegation. McKinney told HAT one of the major topics of discussion will be biotechnology on corn and soybeans, “We are facing slowness in approval of US crops produced with biotechnology, and we hope to find a find a way to speak about these technologies that Indiana companies are producing.” Representatives of Dow AgroSciences and Elanco will be joining the delegation for part of the trade mission.  These discussions may occur when the delegation visits a Bunge facility just south of Beijing.

Specific Indiana-branded products will also be promoted on the trip and Indiana will be highlighted during an international food trade show that will take place in Beijing during the two week trip.

The trade mission is fully supported by private contributions.  The delegation includes:

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann

Ted McKinney, Director, Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Bill Konyha, Director, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs

Daniel Spellacy, Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Emily Duncan, Office of the Lt. Governor

Weilin Long, Office of the Lt. Governor

Dave Lowe, Indiana Soybean Alliance

Denny Maple, Indiana Corn Marketing Council

Jane Ade Stevens, Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Marketing Council

Beth Bechdol, Ice Miller, LLP/Agribusiness Council of Indiana/AgriNovus Indiana

Mark Scheumann, Bunge

Keith Cole, Cole Hardwood

Chris Baggott, Tyner Pond Farm

Harvey Gutwien, Gutwien Popcorn Company, LLC

Natasha Cox, Farm Credit Mid-America

Bobby Hettmansperger, Advanced Ag Resources, Inc.

Elisha Modisett Kemp, Dow AgroSciences

Holly Wang, Purdue University

Clyde Shaffer, Shaffer Genetics, Inc.

Eddie Tang, Shaffer Genetics Swine Services Ltd. (Guangzhou)

Coverage will continue during the trade mission on Hoosier Ag Today’s radio stations, web site, and mobile app.