Manhattan, Kansas – Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas Department of Commerce hosted a Chinese agricultural delegation from Hebei Province May 5-6, 2015. The group met in Topeka with Gov. Sam Brownback, Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey, Secretary of Commerce Pat George and Kansas Senator Ty Masterson to officially recognize a memorandum of understanding promoting the cooperation of agriculture and animal husbandry and to secure agriculture investment and trade between the province and the State of Kansas.
“Agriculture exports equate to one-third or $4.2 billion of our total state exports. China, annually, imports more than $539 million of Kansas agriculture commodities, ranking third behind Mexico and Japan,” Secretary McClaskey said.
Secretary George noted the importance of international business. “Trade with China is an important component to expanding the Kansas economy, especially for marketing our various agricultural products. The Department of Commerce looks forward to working with officials and business leaders in the Hebei Province to promote more investment between our state and Hebei.”
Kerry Wefald, Director of Marketing for KDA, added that the agency works to build relationships and opportunities for the sale of Kansas agriculture products around the globe. “Our KDA agribusiness development team works with business and industry partners to evaluate opportunities on the global market. This includes learning about in-market commodity needs of our trading partners around the globe and matching these needs with producers here in our state. We have a quality relationship with the Hebei delegation and look forward to continuing to increase agricultural trade.”
During the visit, the delegation visited a number of farms and ranches including Cow Camp Ranch & Feedyard, Lost Springs, visiting with Tracy Brunner and Nolan Brunner; Ebert Hay & Cattle, St. George, George Ebert and family; Hildebrand Dairy, Junction City, Melissa Hildebrand Reed; and Munson Prime, Junction City, Leslie Fehr. They also visited with K-State Department of Agronomy’s alfalfa forage specialist, Doohong Min and Kansas Beef Council Director of Industry Relations Stephen Russell who shared Kansas beef facts ad information about Beef Quality Assurance programs and basic beef cattle husbandry.
The mission of KDA is to serve Kansas farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and the consumers/customers they serve in an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy.