Today the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is excited to learn that U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit Cuba March 21 and 22.
“We value the President’s leadership on opening up relations with Cuba. As we look to increase markets for Illinois soybeans, each step forward with this market helps our farmers and helps improve the lives of Cuban people,” says Daryl Cates, ISG chairman who visited Cuba last fall.
Last week ISG staff led a U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) press conference and panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event featured Rep. Cheri Bustos and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, along with other bi-partisan leaders.
Following the event, ISG met with Illinois legislators to discuss the anticipated value of trade between Illinois and Cuba if additional credit restrictions and other trade barriers are removed. ISG also supports ending the embargo with Cuba.
“We appreciate the bi-partisan support from several of our legislators,” says Mike Levin, ISG director of issues management and analysis. “Their support on pending legislation is vital to changing the credit system and opening other opportunities that will allow Illinois businesses and farmers to reach this market that is just 90 miles off the U.S. coast.”
In April, ISG plans to visit Cuba for a seventh time since March 2012 with members of the USACC and Illinois Cuba Working Group.
For additional information about exports to Cuba, visit http://www.fas.usda.gov/data/us-agricultural-exports-cuba-have-substantial-room-growth
Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is a membership organization serving more than 43,000 Illinois soybean growers. ISG provides advocacy in Springfield and Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of Illinois soybean farmers and programs that enhance soybean production and demand. Voice for Soy, the online action center supported by ISG, allows growers to easily connect with legislators and regulators to advocate for Illinois agriculture. For more information about ISG, visit the website www.ilsoygrowers.com.
For more information, contact:
Director of Strategic Market Development
Director of Issues Management Analysis