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Iowa agriculture secretary travels to Asia

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)--Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has departed for a trip to South Korea and Japan.

Northey left March 29 for the two-week trip. He calls the countries "key markets'' for Iowa's agricultural products and says the trip is a "great opportunity'' to strengthen trade relationships.

Northey says the trip also is a chance to commemorate the 1959 Yamanashi "hog lift,'' when Iowa farmers sent swine and corn to help the Japanese province rebuild its hog industry after two typhoons.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is to join the Iowa group in Japan. The Iowa contingent also include economic development, pork, soybean, corn and beef industry representatives, among other groups.

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