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Montana Grain Growers Association convention addresses trade issues

Posted at 3:14 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 18:35:21-05

GREAT FALLS – Wednesday marked day two of three at the Montana Grain Growers Association (MGGA) Convention and Trade Show in Great Falls.

The morning started off with speaker Jason Hafemeister, who is the Trade Counsel to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

His talk focused on the U.S. agricultural trade agenda. After his talk, he had to opportunity to meet with grain growers right here in Big Sky Country.

Hafemeister said, “It was great to hear from producers here to talk about how they value markets in the Pacific Rim and how China is a big priority. Heard about the decline in sales to China and the concern of what’s that doing to wheat prices here, soy beans, corn, all sorts of things. So, it’s good to hear that we have our eye focused on the right ball and certainly from our perspective, we are eager to see China make reforms.”

He also discussed how important the export market is to the Montana wheat producers.

Hafemeister noted, “Canada and Mexico each import about 20 billion dollars a year of US agricultural product. That in thanks, for a large part, the NAFTA agreement, which has given us zero tariff access for almost everything we sell. So, the renegotiation of NAFTA in the new US-Mexico- Canada agreement, has been a big priority for us to make sure we maintain access to Canada and Mexico.”

The convention will end on Thursday, November 29.

Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News