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International deals boost Nebraska's Ag growth

International deals boost Nebraska's Ag growth

By Scout Nelson

During a recent event at the Dinsdale Family Learning Commons, John Bass, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, highlighted the crucial role of international markets in bolstering Nebraska's economy.

The event, co-hosted by the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance and the Nebraska Farm Bureau, focused on the strategic importance of agriculture in global trade and diplomacy.

John Bass shared his personal connection to agriculture, growing up on his grandparents’ dairy farm, which shaped his understanding of the agricultural community. He discussed the State Department’s efforts in ensuring fair global trade practices that benefit U.S. exporters, particularly in agriculture.

Sherry Vinton, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, noted the successful collaboration with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This partnership has been crucial in promoting Nebraska's agricultural products, especially in overcoming challenges like African swine fever during trade missions to Vietnam.

Al Juhnke from the Nebraska Pork Producers Association pointed out that international sales are crucial, making up about 30% of Nebraska's pork production revenue. Disruptions in shipping, particularly in Asia, pose significant threats to these vital economic activities.

Bass acknowledged these challenges, mentioning the State Department's efforts in securing navigation freedoms and addressing threats to international shipping routes, such as those posed by naval activities in the Taiwan Straits and militant actions in the Red Sea.

Kyle Rohrich, a Foreign Service officer and Nebraska native, discussed his work in Azerbaijan, where he supported U.S. agricultural interests. He highlighted the dual benefits of such international engagements, which not only aid in the development of partner countries but also boost local economies in Nebraska through equipment sales and job creation.

Mark McHargue, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, and State Department officials emphasized global climate action commitments. Bass encouraged youth to consider careers in the Foreign Service, emphasizing the responsibility of representing the U.S. abroad.

The event underscored the connection of local agriculture with global markets and diplomacy, highlighting ongoing efforts to strengthen these links for the betterment of Nebraska’s agricultural sector.

Photo Credit -nebraska-department-of-ag

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