Branstad confirmed as ambassador, Reynolds new governor of Iowa

By Ron Kotrba | May 23, 2017

Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a longtime champion for biofuels who has served the state as chief executive since 2011, has just been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new U.S. Ambassador to China.  

According to the American Soybean Association, the U.S. soybean sector exported $27 billion in soybean products last year, making it the largest agricultural export. Of that, sales to China were more than $14 billion, establishing the market as the most significant for U.S. soy.

“We cannot understate the importance of maintaining a good trading relationship with China, along with all of our top exporting countries, and having Gov. Branstad in place will help ensure that agricultural trade remains a top priority between our two countries,” said Ron Moore, president of the American Soybean Association. “ASA is hopeful that Gov. Branstad’s background in agriculture will help the U.S. and China create greater transparency and efficiencies in the biotech approval process and maintain good trade relations.”

Iowa’s 43rd governor will be Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “We have no doubt she will be an extremely capable governor who will continue to care deeply about science, agriculture and biofuels, recognizing the benefits these key industries bring to our state,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “Having worked with her on trade missions abroad and on biofuels issues at home, she has shown herself to be a natural-born leader in her own right. Gov. Reynolds has steadfastly supported the comprehensive state biodiesel policies that help make Iowa the number one biodiesel-producing state. At the federal level, we’re confident she will be an outspoken proponent of the Renewable Fuel Standard, as was her predecessor.”

Kimberley thanked Branstad for his strong leadership over the years. “His work made Iowa a better place, and we look forward to many productive years ahead working with Gov. Reynolds on issues critical to Iowa’s economy and environment.”

Iowa Soybean Association President Rolland Schnell added, “Gov. Kim Reynolds is a proven advocate for farm families, supporting Iowa jobs and improving the prosperity of our local communities. Her experience as lieutenant governor and state senator provides her with a unique understanding of agriculture’s role as a catalyst for employment and economic development in Iowa.”

Schnell said Reynolds has been a staunch supporter of the soybean industry, participating in numerous trade missions while welcoming international delegations to Iowa. “Soybean farmers look forward to accompanying her on a trade mission to China this summer as we continue to build relationships and business with key markets,” Schnell said. “Gov. Reynolds is also keenly aware of the leadership role Iowa plays in producing and selling soybeans and how soybean farmers are demonstrating efficient production with improved conservation and water quality practices. We will work closely with her to establish dedicated and sustained funding to drive greater adoption of conservation practices to the betterment of all Iowans.”


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