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Hoosiers begin agriculture trade mission to China

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A 26-member delegation of Hoosiers, including Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, arrived Wednesday in Hangzhou, Indiana’s Chinese sister state since 1987, for an agriculture-focused economic development trade mission.

They are scheduled to stay through June 10.

The trip, Skillman’s fourth trade mission since assuming office in 2005, aims to improve agricultural trade relations between the Hoosier state and China, currently the fourth-largest importer of Indiana agricultural goods after Canada, Mexico and Japan.

“China is an economic power with a large population, but relatively small amount of [fertile] land,” Skillman said in an e-mail from China. “Meanwhile, Hoosier farmers are producing enough high-quality goods to provide for both Indiana and the international community.”

Skillman is blogging about her experiences. Find her daily blog posts here.

The trip, funded through private donations—mostly from energy and agricultural interests—will cost about $240,000, said Sam Krouse, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s International Trade program manager.

Delegates will remain in Hangzhou until Saturday, before departing for Beijing for the remainder of the trip.

On the agenda: meetings with the Zhejiang Commerce Department, Academy of Agricultural Science and Academy of Social Sciences, U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, China Agricultural University and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

“Past missions have led to on-the-spot business deals for Hoosier producers and leads developed into export agreements for Hoosier farmers of all types,” Skillman's spokeswoman Rachel Sorvig said. “This is the goal for China.”

In 2008, Indiana ranked ninth among states in agricultural exports, with $3.77 billion of food and agricultural products sent overseas. Agricultural exports support more than 24,000 in-state jobs, the lieutenant governor’s office said.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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