Missouri delegation travels to Cuba

Gov. Jay Nixon is leading a group of Missourians representing agriculture, business, education and government on a trade mission to Cuba. The delegation will visit the island nation from May 29 to June 1. The trade mission will focus on growing Missouri exports, especially agricultural products, to the country.

Among St. Louisans represented on the trip are Thorstein Holt of Holtec Gas Systems in Chesterfield and Jeffrey Fort, of MOM Brands Sales, a division of St. Louis-based Post Holdings.

Other delagates include First Lady Georganne Nixon, Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce and Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing, Carlos Vargas, President of Southeast Missouri State University; Gary Wheeler of the Missouri Soybean Association; Silvia Hollis of Mid-Continent Aircraft in Hayti, Missouri; Brady Moses of SatCommX in Lampe, Missouri; ; and several representatives of Martin Rice Co. in Bernie, Missouri.

“Cuba represents a market of 11 million consumers that has been largely untouched by U.S. exports for more than 55 years,” Nixon said in a statement. “Missouri is moving forward to take advantage of this opportunity, particularly when it comes to rice, one of the staples of the Cuban diet.”

Cuba formerly was a significant export destination for Missouri-grown rice, according to Nixon.

In addition to meeting with Cuban government officials in Havana, Gov. Nixon will be briefed by Deputy Chief of Mission Scott Hamilton and other officials at the U.S. Embassy on progress toward facilitating and increasing trade between the U.S. and Cuba.

Travel costs for the Governor and First Lady will be covered by the Hawthorn Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic growth in Missouri.

St. Louis Business Journal, May 30, 2016

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