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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 allen.alexander@fas.usda.gov. Questions may also be addressed to Adrienne Bradley, CDFA, at (916) 403-6802 or adrienne.bradley@cdfa.ca.gov.

A list of foreign participants include:

Embassy

Name and Title of Foreign Officials

Angola

Mr. Bernardo Lourenco, Assistant (Commercial Affairs)

Argentina

Mr. Jose Molina, Minister (Agriculture)

Australia

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

Botswana

Mr. Innocent Matengu, Counselor

Canada

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

Chile

Mr. Joaquin Tagle, Attaché (Agriculture)

Egypt

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)

Fiji

Mr. Ray Baleikasavu, First Secretary

France

Mr. Christophe Malvezin, Counselor (Agriculture)

France

Dr. Catherine Rogy, DVM, Deputy Agricultural Counselor

(Economic, Trade and Treasury Department)

Germany

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

Ghana

Mr. Ebanezer Padi Adjirackor, Minister (Commercial)

Indonesia

Dr. Achmad Rachman, Attaché (Agriculture)

Ireland

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

Japan

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

Kenya

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

Korea

Mr. Kyeong-Kyu Kim, Agricultural Counselor

Mexico

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

Mozambique

Ms. Ana Maria Alberto, Counselor, (Commercial)

Norway

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

Pakistan

Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha, Minister (Trade)

Philippines

Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa, Attaché (Agriculture)

Rwanda

Mr. Bonny P. Musefano, Attaché (Commercial)

South Africa

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

Sweden

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

Thailand

Dr. Adisorn Promthep, Minister (Agriculture)

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FAS-PR-0137-12

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