With many farmers thinking about planting and looking forward to another year, Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor is just as excited. She recently told the Washington Ag Network there are many opportunities for the new year, but also several challenges thanks to low commodity prices. She also noted how important it is that the U.S. be proactive in establishing trade deals, whether bilateral or others.
“Trade is so vital to Oregon food and agriculture kind of across the board in what we grow. 80% of what we grow leaves the state and about 40% is leaving the country, and so those international markets whether they’re our neighbor to the north in Canada or all the way over the Pacific Ocean to the Pacific Rim are so vital.”
Taylor said she looks forward to the coming year and the opportunity to take a trade mission to Japan, in an effort to improve relations with that highly important market. Taylor added with 95% of the world’s population living outside of the U.S., and over 99% of the population living outside of Oregon, it’s important growers have an opportunity to get their products to consumers around the globe.
“Getting new international markets, and expanding the ones that we’re already in is so key because that frees up space for those products to go overseas and then for those businesses who want to market locally or to other states domestically, it gives them that room to do so.
She noted its not just the ag community that benefits from trade. She says for every $1 of products exported, it generated $1.27 to the local economy.
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