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Global opportunities for Va. farmers is focus of trade conference

RICHMOND—Virginia farmers and agribusiness professionals can learn about export opportunities throughout the world March 6 and 7 during the sixth annual Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade in Richmond.

A representative of the newly opened Canadian trade office in Washington will be available to meet with Virginia agribusinesses interested in expanding into the Canadian market. Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to meet with trade and marketing representatives from Southeast Asia and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Trade representatives from Japan, Vietnam, Panama and the European Union have been invited to talk about Virginia agricultural trade with their countries and how the trade partnerships can be strengthened. Additionally, the CEO of Smithfield Foods will discuss that company’s experience with foreign trade, and an executive from the U.S. Meat Export Federation will talk about overcoming trade obstacles.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe will deliver a keynote address highlighting the state’s successful agriculture and forestry exports. He will address his plans to make Virginia the East Coast capital for those types of exported goods and will announce total figures for Virginia’s 2013 agricultural exports.

“The importance of Virginia’s agricultural exports continues to grow for our producers and agribusinesses … and the annual conference is an important gathering place and educational forum for both experienced exporters and those wanting to break into the export market,” McAuliffe said.

Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Commodity Marketing Director Spencer Neale agreed. “This conference is an excellent chance for farmers and others associated with Virginia’s agricultural industry to learn more about export opportunities and to network with representatives of countries interested in trading with us,” he said. Farm Bureau is one of the conference’s organizers, along with VDACS, the Virginia Port Authority and Virginia Tech’s Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit The registration deadline is Feb. 25.

Media: Contact Neale at 804-290-1156.

Posted in: Agriculture Trade


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