More than 20 Illinois Farm Bureau members and staff from across the state will travel to Cuba today through July 2 in an effort to promote the resumption of normal trading relations with the country.
By John Hawkins — June 28, 2012
While there, trip participants will meet with ALIMPORT, which is the food and agricultural import agency for Cuba, the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture, port authorities in Havana and the U.S.-Cuban Interests Section. Attendees also will have the opportunity to visit Cuban farmers markets, cooperatives and vegetable, dairy and livestock farms.
“Restoring normal trade relations with Cuba is an important step in furthering Illinois farmers’ abilities to market their produce, including grains, meat and dairy products,” said Tamara Nelsen, senior director of commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “Agriculture has been a bright spot in our nation’s — and our state’s — economy during the recent downturn. Improving our trade relations with Cuba will only help to ensure agriculture can continue to strengthen our state and national economies.”
FarmWeekNow.com’s Martin Ross, a member of the Illinois Department of Agriculture and several Illinois Farm Bureau staff members will be traveling to Cuba as well.
Editor’s Note: Diplomat-spies from the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, DC, have invested over a decade cultivating influence in the Illinois legislature, state universities, the farming community, and communities involved in the “Sister-City” program. More on this topic later this summer!