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Foreign Agricultural Officials to Visit California

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that about 30 representatives of foreign embassies located in Washington, D.C., will tour Northern California Sept. 10-14 as part of the annual orientation tour sponsored by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

"International trade plays a critical role in the health and development of the agricultural economy," said FAS Administrator Suzanne Heinen. "Orientation tours not only showcase U.S. farms and their products, but facilitate face-to-face interactions that open and expand opportunities for U.S. producers and enhance global food security."

This program will provide participants with an excellent opportunity to observe the agricultural diversity of California. The state leads the nation in cash receipts (approximately $11 billion) and is the leader in production of almonds, dairy, fruit and nuts, grapes, greenhouses and nursery products, hay, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes and vegetables. It also ranks among the top six states for apples, sweet corn, cotton, food grains, livestock and products, oranges, cattle and calves, chicken eggs, and rice.

The tour’s focus will be on agriculture around the Sacramento area. Tour participants will visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) where they will meet with officials from the CDFA, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Rural Development. Other site visits include: Blue Diamond Almond Growers; a California Rice Industry rice farm tour; Hilmar Cheese; Clauss Jersey Farms; University of California, Davis; Full Belly organic farm; Sierra Orchards; Yolo Land and Cattle Company; a California Olive Oil Commission tour of Corto Olive; the Culinary Institute of America; and the Robert Mondavi winery in the Napa Valley region.

Tour participants will pay for their own travel, lodging, meals, and tour expenses.

For more information, contact Allen Alexander, director of the FAS Foreign Visitors and Protocol office, at (202) 720-9860 or Questions may also be addressed to Adrienne Bradley, CDFA, at (916) 403-6802 or

A list of foreign participants include:


Name and Title of Foreign Officials


Mr. Bernardo Lourenco, Assistant (Commercial Affairs)


Mr. Jose Molina, Minister (Agriculture)


Dr. Chris Parker, DVM, Minister-Counselor (Agriculture)


Mr. Innocent Matengu, Counselor


Ms. Jeanette Patell, First Secretary (Agriculture and Fisheries)


Mr. Joaquin Tagle, Attaché (Agriculture)


Dr. Safwat El Haddad, Minister and Director (Agriculture)

European Union

Mr. Carlos Alvarez Antolinez (Spanish), Minister-Counselor (Food Safety, Health and Consumer Section)

European Union

Mr. Giulio Menato (Italian), First Counselor, (Agriculture)


Mr. Ray Baleikasavu, First Secretary


Mr. Christophe Malvezin, Counselor (Agriculture)


Dr. Catherine Rogy, DVM, Deputy Agricultural Counselor

(Economic, Trade and Treasury Department)


Dr. Thomas Schmidt, Minister Counselor, (Food, Agriculture & Consumer Protection)


Mr. Ebanezer Padi Adjirackor, Minister (Commercial)


Dr. Achmad Rachman, Attaché (Agriculture)


Dr. John Dardis, First Secretary (Agriculture and Food)


Mr. Katsuhiro Saka, Counselor (Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)


Mr. James M. Kiiru, Attaché (Agriculture and Commercial)


Mr. Kyeong-Kyu Kim, Agricultural Counselor


Mr. Carlos Vazquez, Dean of the Foreign Agricultural Attachés in D.C., Minister-Counselor (Agriculture)


Ms. Ana Maria Alberto, Counselor, (Commercial)


Mr. Lars P. Henie, Minister-Counselor, (Economic Section)


Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha, Minister (Trade)


Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa, Attaché (Agriculture)


Mr. Bonny P. Musefano, Attaché (Commercial)

South Africa

Ms. Vangile Titi-Msumza, Minister-Counselor (Agriculture)


Mr. Lennart Killander Larsson, Counselor (Trade and Economics)


Dr. Adisorn Promthep, Minister (Agriculture)



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