Educational Experience of Eastern Europe Agriculture Offered Exclusively to Iowa Farm Bureau Farmers

1/28/2013 8:50:17 AM
Laurie Johns

Ukraine, Odesa Seaport, Romania, Bucharest Among Areas Featured on Market Study Tour  

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in an intensive educational experience of the Black Sea region of Eastern Europe, in order to learn about the challenges and potential market competition for Iowa’s agricultural products.   The IFBF Black Sea Market Study Tour group will visit farmers, ag businesses, government officials and citizens of Urkraine, Moldova and Romania to learn more about the culture and customs that are shaping the region’s farming and agriculture policies.            

“We’ve chosen the Black Sea region for our organization’s first exclusive trade and education tour, because it’s an emerging competitive market for Iowa corn, soybeans and livestock production.  For example, corn production in Ukraine has gone from 2.5 million metric tons to over 20 million metric tons in just a decade; that’s nearly a 1,000 percent increase and there is more to come.  This region has the right soil types and natural resources to be competitive to Iowa farming commodities in the not-too-distant future.  This region is located strategically near growth markets of Africa and the Middle East, and has recently emerged as an exporter to China, so that is also an interest to Iowa farmers who understand the importance of trade issues and being competitive in a global market,” says Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services.             

The 2013 IFBF Market Study Tour is tentatively scheduled for June 22-July 3.  Since space is limited, the trip is exclusive to IFBF members and applications need to be submitted before March 31.  Members chosen for the Black Sea Study Tour will be required to fund $1,500 of the trip, to have a valid passport through December of 2014 and to give a minimum of four post-trip presentations to local, county, district or state venues.  “This is a knowledge share trip and so a willingness to ‘give back’ to fellow Iowans is a must.  Also, since the tour agenda includes a vigorous schedule, the applicant must also be in excellent health,” said Miller. 

For more information on the IFBF Black Sea Market Study Tour, or to complete an application, click on the rotating window on the IFBF website at