Farmers participate in East-West Center China exchange09/11/2019 | Soybean Exports, Economics
By Joseph L. Murphy, ISA senior communications manager
Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) District Director Pat Swanson, along with ISA members Brock Hansen and Pat Murken met with six journalists from China yesterday at the Machine Shed Restaurant. The meeting was part of the 2019 China-United States journalist exchange and an ongoing dialogue with the East-West Center.
The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. The U.S. Congress established it in 1960.
The farmers and journalists visited about a wide range of topics, including: The ongoing trade war, support for the current administration, trade mitigation payments, low commodity prices and weather concerns.
"It's an important relationship," Brock Hansen said of the visit with the Chinese journalists. "Trading with China is like a marriage. There needs to be a give and take to be successful. At the end of the day, something needs to be figured out."
Zheng Bo, the deputy editor-in-chief of the Economic Daily in Beijing, told the farmers that Chinese citizens have a preference for the crops they grow.
"The Chinese people love American agriculture because of the quality and nutritional content," Bo said through an interpreter. "The Chinese people feel very sorry about the tariff war. Just like you, they hope to sit down and find a win-win so more American products will find their way over."
During the meeting, Swanson told the group about the struggles she is facing on her farm near Ottumwa and also answered questions about the family's crop insurance business.
"Farmers are extremely resilient," Swanson, a sixth-generation farmer, told the group in closing. "They will survive, but money is tighter than what they would like. We've been on the land for 170 years, so my family has seen the ups and downs of agriculture. We hope to be farming for at least six more generations."
Contact Joseph L. Murphy at email@example.com.
More on East-West Center's China-United States Journalists Exchange Program: www.eastwestcenter.org/ZS4
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