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Agrimarketing : June 2008
34 AgriMarketing ¦ June 2008 TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY/ continued from page 28 that were from our country, adults were drably clothed in gray, black or olive green- mostly in the so called “Mao” jackets. Today, it’s all about high fashion and fast food — McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and lots of Starbucks. The shopping in Beijing was truly world class, but also a good dose of third world peddler thrown in, as well. Capitalism has arrived and currently co-exists with Communism. 3. Private Enterprise. When in China in 1984, we were glorified tourists, we had a couple of stops that were somewhat farm related. We had a historic meeting with Chinese ag officials in the Great Hall of the Peo- ple, but not much more. Here in 2008, stop after stop showed off dairy processing, beef production, wholesale marketing, private ag research and greenhouse research and production. And, in every case, it was a private enter- prise that had been started in the late 1990s or early this decade. China is letting their people have enough wiggle room to work on solutions to feed their 1.3 billion mouths (and growing) three times a day. CARRIE MUEHLING, WJBC RADIO Bloomington, IL I spent March 2-13, 2008, learning about agriculture and trade in the Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland. The international travel was part of the Illinois Agricultural Leader- ship Program , a two-year profes- sional develop- ment curriculum with the mission of developing knowledgeable and effective spokespersons to become policy and decision makers for the agriculture industry. Our Kiev visit included the U.S. Embassy and an overview of the agri- culture, economy and the political situ- ation. We visited a former collective farm in central Ukraine and then made our way to the port city of Odessa. I valued most just seeing the land. Ukraine has vast amounts of fertile farmland, but is challenged by politi- cal corruption and economic unrest. I gained a greater understanding of the political landscape and challenges they face as they work towards meet- ing the potential they have for agri- cultural production and business. In Prague, we learned about the booming business climate in the Czech Republic, and the challenges that presents. They are beginning to worry about inflation and do not have the tools to combat that like the Federal Reserve. We learned farm subsidies are prevalent there, and found that Czech Republic does grow genetically modified crops, unlike many EU countries. We vis- ited a large grain and dairy farm, and saw many government-funded projects underway, including one to convert methane to energy. Carrie Muehling
July August 2008
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08