On our 15-hour flight from Shanghai to Newark and finally back to Indiana, I had time to reflect on all the successes of the past week. Of course, one can only reflect so much in 15 hours, so I had some time to enjoy the appropriately light in-flight flicks He’s Just Not that into You, The A-Team and The Hangover. Romance, action and comedy, a perfect in-flight trifecta.
I found it interesting that because we were crossing the International Date Line while in flight, we actually arrived in Indiana just a few hours after we left Shanghai. An efficient use of time don’t you think? I wish I could use that sort of time travel more often; it would come in awfully handy trying to get to from a speech in southern Indiana to another in northern part of the state in the same day….
The flight gave me time to think about how we used this opportunity to promote Indiana agriculture and share information that will make Indiana genuinely better. All of the delegates were excellent ambassadors for the state and delivered our message that “business grows here” with confidence and enthusiasm. Due to the relationships Indiana has established in China and the excellent business environment fostered by Governor Daniels and Lt. Governor Skillman, I’m confident that the message hit home and that Indiana agriculture can expect to see tangible benefits very soon.
It’s clear to me now that opportunities for trade and investment with China are simply beyond comparison in modern history, and that Indiana is in prime position to reap the benefits. Their middle class is growing exponentially, creating a wealthy population that craves high-quality US products. Even today, though, there are millions of wealthy individuals and enterprises in China looking for their next big investment. Already our state has seen the benefits of these investments from furniture factories in Marion to formal partnerships on battery production, and as the #1 state in the Midwest to do business I know that these investments will continue to flow. In just one week saw genuine interest in trade and investment from meat distributors, furniture manufacturers, corn processors, grocery stores, agricultural wholesalers and too many more ag industries to name.
But now it is time to return to the farm and hug my lovely wife Amy and our three kids Jenna (6 years), Josie (4 years) and Jack (2 years). I’ve missed them all terribly and although I was able to Skype during the trip, all of the kids seem to have grown. Can’t wait to see their faces when they open the silk PJ’s that I bought for everyone.