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Iowans Participate in International Agriculture Trade Mission to China

JOHNSTON, Iowa – December 2, 2013 – Members of the Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement and Development (I-LEAD) program class 6 are preparing for an international agricultural trade mission to China. The purpose of the I-LEAD foreign mission is to help class members learn about the world food and fiber system and develop a deeper appreciation for the views of international customers. The class will be spending 10 days meeting with government officials, customers, industry experts, and farmers to discuss export market development for four of Iowa’s main agriculture commodities; corn, soybeans, pork and beef. This class is working closely with international offices of the US Grains Council and the US Meat Export Federation. Iowa Corn has a well established market development relationship with both organizations.

“The I-LEAD international trade mission shows our next leaders how important trade is to Iowa and the US. China is a very important market for ag products today and into the future,” said Shannon Textor, Iowa Corn Market Development Director and the staff member leading the mission. “Building relationships with key customers, like China, is a top priority in growing trade opportunities. We need to understand the opportunities and challenges and make sure they understand that we grow and produce safe and reliable food and grain.”

Class members determined five objectives that they wanted to focus on during the trade mission. The objectives helped to define an intensive ten day agenda. They included:

* Reviewing competitor markets or developing markets
* Meetings with major consumers (including those with existing relationships in Iowa)
* Learn more about market access with current restrictions or barriers

“We hope to build on the current Iowa relationships,” said Textor. “After we return, we will continue to work with these customers to make sure they are receiving the quality they need and want from us.”

While on the mission, class members will be blogging about their experience, you can view their blog at

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Participants in I-LEAD Class 6, participating in the mission, include:
Jarrod Bakker (Dike), Laurie Bedord (Ankeny), Carly Cummings (Ames), Ryan Gallagher (Washington), Paul Gieselman (Morning Sun), Adam Gregg (Johnston), Jeff Johnson (Riverton), Mark Kenney (Ankeny), Josh Lammert (Silver City), Kayla Lyon (Ames), Gretchen McClain (Stockport), Thomas Meierotto (West Des Moines), Devin Mogler (Des Moines), Brian Rouse (Emmetsburg), Dan Runner (Gilman), Brent Schipper (Conrad), Vince Sitzmann (Prairie City), Adam Stamp (Ankeny), Jody Van Regenmorter (Inwood), Chris Wolters (Sanborn)

The Iowa Corn I-LEAD program is a two year program to provide Iowa’s talented men and women with the tools they need to succeed as leaders and spokespeople for agriculture. The I-LEAD program is sponsored by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) because they recognize that the future of Iowa agriculture depends on the developing new leaders who share a passion for agriculture’s future. I-LEAD is a two year program and class members come from diverse backgrounds but share a common commitment to the future of agriculture in

Mindy Williamson
Communications & PR Director




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