The Indiana trade mission to China has ended. Lt Governor Becky Skillman and her delegation moved from the provinces to the capitol Beijing and had a series of meeting with Chinese officials. While much has been made of the economic development successes of the trip, Skillman said the Indiana pork industry was a key element of the discussions. A representative of Liberty Swine Farms of Wabash County was on the mission, and Skillman says there was a good deal of interest in Indiana pork, “Countries around the world are interested in the quality and quantity of the pork that the US can produce.” She said Indiana pork has always been a part of her trade missions.
Randy Curless with Liberty Swine Farms of Wabash Country, a member of the delegation, reported that the Hoosier delegation meet with officials from Zhejiang Commerce to discuss Indiana’s agricultural products. Whiteshire Hamroc, LLC, a Noble County, IN genetics company, announced a joint venture in cooperation with Tangrenshen Co. , aLtd., an integrated pork and feed company in Hunan Province, China, to build an international research and development farm in Northeast Indiana. “This new facility is to be the first international swine research and development farm for both the United States and China,” said Michael Lemmon, CEO of Whiteshire Hamroc LLC. “Employees will perform genetic and production research on traits and techniques that will be specifically utilized in genetic improvement programs for farms both in the United States and China.”
According to Scott Lawrence of Whiteshire Hamroc, other U.S. swine genetics companies will assist in providing genetic components and guiding the research and development projects at the new facility. “The partners in PureTek Genetics LLC will provide valuable genetic assets and other assistance with this project,” said Lawrence. Along with Whiteshire Hamroc, PureTek Genetics members include Tempel Genetics Inc. and Shaffer Superior Genetics Inc. of Indiana, and Cedar Ridge Farms Inc. of Illinois. “The PureTek Genetics, LLC team will provide the largest purebred genetic base in the world for further development and testing on this new research farm. Tangrenshen and their Chinese customers will benefit directly from PureTek’s combined efforts toward genetic improvement,” Lawrence added.
For the Lt Governor, the success of the mission will not be measured in the number of new agreements made, but in the number of new relationships started between China and Indiana, “I often say that our greatest successes in life are due to the strengths of our relationships.”