SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Trade missions led by the Illinois Department of Agriculture the past three months have produced immediate results, generating almost half a million dollars in business for the state’s livestock industry.
The most recent sale was completed just last week when a dairy operation in the Mexican state of Aquascalientes accepted a shipment of 226 Holstein cattle from a farm in west-central Illinois. The sale resulted from a buyer’s mission held in late September and early October in conjunction with the department’s Dairy Industry Tour. Separate Panamanian and Dominican swine missions in August also led to sales, with pig farmers in both countries buying 76 head of breeding stock.
“These sales could not have come at a better time because our livestock industry is suffering through an economic crisis,” Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said. “Now, the challenge is to turn these sales into repeat business that will help insulate the industry against future economic slowdowns.”
The department has held eight trade missions this year specifically intended to find markets for Illinois livestock and livestock products. The missions brought 34 buyers from seven countries to shop Illinois and have generated sales of more than $1 million thus far, including deals that are still pending.
“The rate of return on our marketing activities is outstanding,” Jennings said. “Every dollar that we spend generates $174 in sales, making the program a sound investment in both Illinois agriculture and the Illinois economy.”
The department has scheduled two additional trade missions before the end of the year. A group of Costa Rican swine buyers will visit in November, followed by a group of Mexican swine buyers in December.