LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's director of agriculture will travel to China this week to take part in a workshop that could lead to new investments in agriculture-product processing centers, Gov. Dave Heineman announced Monday.
Department of Agriculture director Greg Ibach will visit Beijing for the Friday event, designed to strengthen U.S.-China trade relations.
Heineman said Nebraska was the only U.S. state invited to present at the workshop, which is coordinated by the Paulson Institute. The institute, led by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, focuses on economic and environmental issues.
Ibach said he will argue that Nebraska is best location in the Midwest for Chinese businesses to set up processing centers for food, bioenergy and other raw commodities. He said Nebraska is well-positioned because it sits on the western edge of the corn belt — closer to Pacific shipping routes that lead to China.
Ibach said he will talk about the state's history as a "reliable, efficient, large-scale producer of high-quality agricultural goods," as well as highlight the surge of new farming and ranching technology. Nebraska also remains committed to agriculture research and development through the University of Nebraska and private firms, he said.