North Dakota's Champions
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture, which organized the trip, will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 2. Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring, who led the mission, and others members of the trade delegation will attend. Formo and other North Dakotans hope that thawing U.S.-Cuban relations will lead to increased imports of U.S. food by the island country. North Dakota produces a wide range of ag products, including edible beans, which are popular in Cuba.
"We had first-hand experience to seeing some things that are taking place in Cuba," says North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring says right now-- Cuba produces 40 percent of their caloric needs. But has to import 80 percent of their food. "So we believe we have quite an opportunity as we move forward," says Goehring.
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: NORTH DAKOTA EAGER TO EXPAND TRADE WITH CUBA
The Obama administration's move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba could lead to increased sales of North Dakota crops to the communist island nation, though some issues would need to be sorted out, officials say. North Dakota farmers grow an abundance of dry peas, dry beans, lentils and potatoes, which are all big parts of the Cuban diet. Over the past 12 years, the state has exported an average of about $1 million worth of agricultural goods to Cuba annually through a humanitarian food exemption to the U.S. trade embargo, according to North Dakota Trade Office data. The agency's executive director, Dean Gorder, said there is the potential for even bigger sales to Cuba.
Not long ago-- an American stepping on to Cuban soil was unheard of. Now-- future trade opportunities are being discussed. North Dakota Grain Growers Association President, Mark Formo paid a visit to the communist country to explore the possibility of trade in years to come.
Grand Forks Herald: North Dakota ag group visits Cuba
He and others on the trip, which includes officials with the Bank of North Dakota, Northarvest Bean Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, North Dakota Trade Office and North Dakota Wheat Commission, held a news conference Monday in Bismarck. Goehring also talked with Forum News Service.
PIONEER PRESS: NORTH DAKOTA AG GROUP FINDS KINSHIP IN CUBA MISSION
Cuba is a big potential market for North Dakota growers. Recent talks about lifting the trade embargo the United States imposed on Cuba in the 1960s prompted ag leaders from across the state to visit the country recently to make connections and learn about possible future trade opportunities. Trade with Cuba could mean as much as $40 million a year for North Dakota agriculture, said Mark Formo, a Litchville, N.D., farmer and North Dakota Grain Growers Association president. “We want to build a relationship and open up pathways for trade,” he said.