The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is offering its members an exclusive opportunity to participate in an intensive market study tour to China in March 2019.

The IFBF study tour will travel to several locations in China beginning March 1 through March 10. It will explore agriculture and cultural sites both around Beijing and in southeastern China, said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services, who will lead the market study tour.

During the 2019 IFBF study tour, participants will visit Chinese crop and livestock farms and meet with agribusiness and other users of U.S.-grown soybeans and other crops, Miller said. The group will also explore the rapid changes in China’s consumer market with visits to supermarkets and other food outlets, he said.

Trade frictions
Trade relations between the United States and China have been strained over the past several months, Miller acknowledged. But China continues to be a key market opportunity for Iowa crop and livestock farmers because of its rapidly expanding middle class and rising demand for protein, Miller said.

“I be­­lieve we will work through these current trade issues, so building relationships with people in China and understanding market issues there will continue to be very important for Iowa farmers,” Miller said.

The 2019 IFBF market study tour will first travel to the Beijing area for meetings with industry contacts and government officials. There is also the potential to visit the United States Embassy in Beijing, which is headed by former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.

The group will then travel southeast, visiting with both farmers and agribusiness, as well as retail food outlets. The group will fly out of Hong Kong back to the United States on March 10.

Selecting participants
Participants for the IFBF China market study tour will be selected based on potential leadership participation in Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations, communication skills and a willingness to “give back” to communities through oral and written presentations.

The tour is exclusive to IFBF members who apply and are selected. Applications can be submitted through the IFBF website and must be submitted by Dec. 17, 2018.

Members selected for the China study tour will be required to pay $2,500 to fund a share of the cost of the tour. The state organization will fund the rest of the tour costs, and no county Farm Bureau finances will be used. Participants will need to have a valid passport through December 2019.

Sharing knowledge
Participants will be required to give a minimum of four post-trip presentations in local, county, district or state venues, such as county Farm Bureau annual meetings, community organizations or youth groups and/or through the public media.

“Our market study tours are knowledge-share trips, and so participant willingness to share the knowledge they gain in China with fellow Iowans is a must,” Miller said. “We want to be able to share the information we learn on the trip as widely as possible.”

In addition, Miller added, the tour will be rigorous, so applicants should be in good health.

Click here for more information on the IFBF China market study tour, or to complete an application. If you have any questions about the China market study tour, contact Dave Miller at 515-225-5430 or by email at