Agriculture diplomacy is behind a plan to re-create an Iowa farm in Hebei province similar to the one that President Xi Jinping visited nearly five year years ago. The farm in Hebei province near Chengde will be modeled after a 4,000-acre corn and soybean farm operated by Rick and Martha Kimberley in Maxwell, Iowa, which is located about 25 miles northeast of the state capital Des Moines…Full Article: China Daily Dec 2016

Key Points

  • In 2017, construction may begin on the Iowan model farm in Hebei Province. Another model farm may be constructed in Jilin Province at a later date.
  • In 1983, Hebei Province became an Iowan sister-state.
  • In 1980, Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun visited Iowa to learn about the state’s agriculture industry.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In October 2016, Chinese representatives signed US$2.1 billion (totaling ~5.1 million MTs of agricultural goods) worth of agricultural contracts in Des Moines, Iowa. From 2015/2016 to 2016/2017 seasonal year, Chinese soybean consumption was expected to increase from 95 million MTs to 98 million MTs, with imports expected to reach 83 million MTs during the 2016/2017 seasonal year.
  • In September 2015, Chinese soybean importers signed agreements to purchase 13.18 million MTs (~US$5.3 billion) after attending US conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The US soybean exporters to China included Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Group.
  • In April 2013, approximately 75 companies from Hebei Province visited Iowa.
  • In October 2012, Chinese soybean importers visited Mitchell County, Iowa.
  • In February 2012, after a 27 year hiatus, Xi Jinping revisited Muscatine, stating “coming here is really like coming back home.” At an official dinner in Des Moines, the governor of Iowa toasted Xi saying “Iowa farmers are proud to harvest safe and reliable agricultural products for use by the people of China.” During the visit, U.S. companies Cargill Inc. and the Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. signed contracts to export $4.3 billion worth of soybeans to China.
  • In 1985, Xi Jinping (age 31) led a small animal feed delegation from Hebei province to study American agriculture and paid a 3-day visit to the town of Muscatine (pop. 23,000), eastern Iowa. As of 2011, Iowa was the top US soybean producer at 466 million metric tons or 12.7% of output.

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