NAFB Journalists and Friends Tour To China

A group of NAFB broadcasters, management and affiliated industry will be leaving for China on June 21 and returning on July 4. Leader of the tour will be John Block, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture who will be accompanied by his wife.  Tom Cassidy, NAFB President, and Tom Brand, NAFB Executive Director, will handle logistics along the way.  Currently, 10 NAFB broadcasters are working to gain visas for reporting in China.   Twenty related industry professionals will also be traveling with the group with the goal of getting expert reaction to Chinese markets and agriculture. The China tour group is scheduled to meet with U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.  Senior staff of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service have been arranging the audience with Ambassador Branstad, and they plan to provide a briefing for reporters. The two-week tour will stop in several major China cities to examine the commerce conducted utilizing U.S. agricultural products.  Also, there will be opportunities to visit various kinds of farms and to meet with business owners. Ken Root and Rich Hull have been helping to coordinate the trip.  Rich is working with the travel company, and Ken is coordinating arrangements with USDA and Secretary Block. About the trip, Ken said, “Neither Rich or I are going, by choice.  We agreed that we’ve been many places, and there is a new generation of broadcasters who need to see things firsthand.  They need to understand how the cultures and economies of trading nations relate to U.S. agriculture.  It was a great experience to travel with Secretary Block in the 1980’s (Korea, Japan, China, Central America, Brazil and Argentina) and with Secretary Mike Johanns to Iraq.”  The NAFB Foundation is providing support for broadcast members to defray some costs of the tour. Broadcasters among early registrants for the tour include: Greg Akagi (Kansas Ag Network/WIBW), Steve Bridge (WFMB and coverage for This Week in Agribusiness), Tom Cassidy (Ag Radio Network) Spencer Chase (Agri-Pulse), Joe Daughhetee (WITY), David Geiger (Agribusiness Association of Iowa), Monte James  (Your Ag Network), Phyllis Parks (WITY),  Roger Ward (WLDS), and Shannon Yokley (Brownfield Ag News).