International markets offer incredible opportunities to Indiana agriculture. Gina Sheets, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director of economic development recently returned from a trade mission to China and Japan. Sheets says the China mission focused a lot on community, business and agriculture development. She says day one started by highlighting Indiana’s production agriculture. Specifically, she says at each table during the luncheon, Indiana businesses that were represented were matched with potential business partners.
Sheets says those conversations highlighted Indiana products like popcorn, Indiana hardwoods and she says hopefully an opportunity for Indiana beef eventually. She says a trip like this is mutually beneficial. Sheets tells Brownfield the government entity hosting the group in the Zhejiang province has the opportunity to help their businesses access international markets. Which furthers trade development and brings dollars back into their state. She adds Indiana was doing the same thing, helping businesses in Indiana look for new international export markets in China and in return bring that revenue back into the United States.
From China, the majority of the delegation headed to Japan for another trade mission led by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. Sheets says the delegation learned investors in Japan have a good feeling about Indiana’s business climate, especially the agriculture sector. She says the Japanese delgation shared indicators of continued and future investment in Indiana, including the agriculture industries.
The delegation returned from Japan September 28th.