Springfield, IL–The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hosting 31 international buyers from various countries including China, Myanmar, Mexico, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Vietnam, through Thursday, in an effort to increase export sales for the Illinois pork industry. Industry tours, such as the Illinois Pork Tour, teach potential trade partners about the benefits of Illinois agriculture and reinforces the advantages of buying high-quality Illinois products. For more than 20 years, the tour has generated over $12 million in sales for participating Illinois agribusinesses.
The tour kicks-off with participants meeting with representatives from Cedar Ridge in Red Bud. The farm was established in 1954 by the late Fred and Betty Grohmann. Their six sons now own and operate the farm, which is one of the nation’s top sellers of purebred breeding stock, exporting swine breeding stock to over 40 countries. In the last four years, Cedar Ridge Farms has exported over 1,100 boars and nearly 10,000 gilts to various countries due to the relationships built during the Illinois Pork Tour.
“The Illinois pork industry is a vital component of Illinois agriculture. The industry contributes billions of dollars to our economy and creates thousands of jobs,” said Director Raymond Poe. “Through the Illinois Pork Tour we can build relationships between foreign buyers and Illinois agri-businesses in the hopes of growing our industry and improving our export sales.”
The tour also will make stops at:
Farmweld is a company that is on the forefront of wean-to-finish technology, and is a leader in the design of products that reduce waste and promote pig comfort and labor savings. The Farmweld team has developed strong relationships with veterinarians, builders and distributors which help Farmweld better serve its customers. The Effingham County agribusiness will be the subject of a feature in an upcoming episode of American Farmer on RFD-TV airing sometime in the second quarter of 2017.
University of Illinois, College of ACES, Urbana-Champaign
In addition to a tour of the state’s flagship university, tour participants will hear from David Headley of the Illinois Soybean Association on the “Benefits of Soy,” receive an “Overview of Commercial Swine Research Studies,” from Dr. Mike Ellis of the College of ACES, and hear from Dr. Jim Lowe, the University’s Large Animal Veterinarian, regarding “Health Impacts on Production in the United States and Around the World.” This tour stop will also include a tour of Morrow Plots, established in 1876, which is the home of all crop science research conducted at the University of Illinois.
Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago
CME Group, an international marketplace enabling institutions and businesses to manage their financial risks and allocate their assets. Here, tour participants will meet with professional traders and floor brokers from MANNStraders. Participants will experience the excitement of the opening of the CBOT and learn more about trading floor activities.
Amlan International, Vernon Hills
Amlan International is the Animal Health Division of the Oil-Dri Corporation. The Innovation Center is dedicated to the research and development of adding value to sorbent minerals for optimum animal health.
On Thursday the tour will depart for Des Moines, IA., site of the World Pork Expo.