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Russian journalists visit US pork industry

Five business journalists from Russia have visited the US to learn about the US pork industry including the current state of trade with Russia.

Larry Sitzman, executive director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, discussed the programs and functions managed by NPPA, explained the importance of pork production and processing to Nebraska's economy and discussed several pressing issues currently affecting the industry.

"I am really grateful I had the opportunity to visit with these people because they appear to be media financial experts and they asked very challenging and interesting questions about our system in this country," Sitzman said. "(They asked questions) not only of production agriculture, but very challenging questions on our wholesale and retail markets and the price received by producers."

Sitzman said the importance of Russia as an export market cannot be overstated. "I have received calls almost daily (asking) about what is being done to reopen the markets with Russia and China. Those are key markets. We realise the Russians are looking at trying to be self sufficient, but I feel both that country and China still need to be looking at importing a lot of pork and protein products. Hopefully, (such products) can be from the US — and with the efforts of all of us, I believe that can happen."

The Russian journalists also met with members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association during opening day of the Iowa State Fair.

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