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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. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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