Secretary of State John Gail is also the state’s chief protocol officer for international relations and recently returned home after traveling two weeks in China. This was part of a trip that focused on education and cultural experiences. Gale says he had the opportunity to visit a farming community.
“They have made some significant steps forward to improve their agricultural productivity. One way by moving a number of people from the poorer, rural countryside and consolidating their farms, tiny farms to larger cooperative farms.”
However, Gale says their method of farming is from a different era.
“I would say ancient techniques of harvesting. In the town we were at after the wheat was harvested, they spread the wheat on the streets of the town to allow vehicles to drive over the wheat and separate the wheat from the chaff.”
Gale says Nebraska has a huge amount of knowledge that could be shared with farmers in China from seed hybrids to modern ag equipment. He says in the meantime, there could be a possibility that Nebraska could be a huge benefit to them in terms of goods.
“Only about half of the country is arable where you can have crop production and a large part of that is committed to rice. They are a net importer of agriculture products so we have an immense opportunity not only to work with them with a bilateral relationship to help them improve their farming techniques and productivity but sell to them products we grow from wheat to corn to beef.”
Gale says China is becoming an urbanized nation and there is disposable income where people can buy a variety of foods and Nebraska is in a great position to help provide those needs to this population.