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Grain growers work to increase exports


The Montana Grain Growers Association is working to increase exports to the 21 member economies at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Big Sky this month. On May 21, MGGA enjoyed the unique opportunity of sitting at the table with the leading trade policy official in the United States, Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative and Montana's senior U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, who successfully brought the APEC meetings to Montana.

"The APEC meetings are important for our members because it provides the ideal forum to focus on opening markets for our products among some of the fastest growing economies in the world," said Lola Raska, executive vice president of the Montana Grain Growers. "Our thanks go out to Sen. Baucus for his hard work to bring this incredible opportunity to Montana, and for his work to tear down trade barriers that inhibit Montana's grain exports."

"It's critical that we continue to raise the international profile of Montana's world class grains. Montana exported more than $950 million of wheat alone in 2010 and nearly 90 percent of these exports went to Asia," said Baucus. "Boosting exports in this vital industry for Montana will boost good-paying jobs here at home. The APEC meetings have proven to be an important venue for building trusting relationships that lead to better trade opportunities. I'm so pleased the Montana Grain Growers Association is making connections to strengthen our Agriculture industry."

Lola Raska represented the Montana Grain Growers Association on a trade mission to South America led by Baucus in October. A key point of the mission was to secure progress on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Following the trade mission, the Administration announced it will move forward with the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

The Montana Grain Growers Association is the primary trade organization representing Montana wheat and barley producers who, by combining their strengths, voices, and ideas, are working to ensure a better future for themselves, their industry and the consumer.

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