Monday, November 8, 2010

Getting down to business

Our first day of work kicked off this morning with a business conference in Shanghai where potential partners with Indiana met to hear a welcome from Governor Daniels. The Governor highlighted the four industry sectors for the trip, which included life sciences, energy, vehicles, and agriculture. Each sector had a chance to meet with audience members for their area during breakout sessions in the afternoon. In the agriculture focus area, I introduced the group to Indiana agriculture with a look at how business grows in Indiana. Mark Henderson spoke about corn and soybean production and processing and Dave Bramlage spoke about Cole Hardwoods and the hardwood industry in our state. Our guests were interested and attentive and already we’ve had discussions with multiple companies about opportunities to buy Indiana products and to invest in Indiana. Of course, our job here is made easier by Governor Daniels and Lt. Governor Skillman’s deliberate actions to position Indiana as a globally open, pro-growth, pro- business state.

Between meetings this afternoon I had some time to reflect on the morning, and I’m excited to say that agriculture has an interest, influence, and presence in three of the four strategic areas represented this morning. We can easily forget how much of a role agriculture plays in our technological advancements in the science of living things and the ever-expanding world of renewable energy production. The creative, sustainable and downright revolutionary solutions agriculture offers to many of the challenges of our time is a testament to the work we do every day and have done for hundreds of years.

Our day closed with a "Friends of Indiana Reception" where company representatives, alumni from our colleges and universities, and anyone connected to Indiana could come to meet with our delegation and each other. Always a highlight of trade missions, the reception was a great opportunity to see just how far Indiana’s influence reaches. Now, with a hefty stack of business cards already amassed, it’s time to settle down and get ready for tomorrow.

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