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MDA delegation visits Cuba to promote ag

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Gene Hugoson led an agricultural trade delegation to Havana, Cuba, from March 29 - April 2 to promote Minnesota agricultural exports. While in Havana, the delegation met with Cuba's commodity purchasers to discuss future sales contracts with Minnesota companies.

Commissioner Hugoson said Minnesota is the leader in sales of livestock, dairy products and dried distillers' grains to Cuba.

"The good relationships we have established will help Minnesota companies negotiate new export contracts," said Hugoson.

Since the state's first introduction in the Cuban market in 2002, the country has purchased soy, corn, wheat, DDGs, milk replacer, dry edible beans and livestock from Minnesota.

Total U.S. sales of agriculture goods to Cuba reached a record high of $431 million in 2007, up from $321 million in 2006. Minnesota exports to Cuba were valued at $18.3 million.

More information on Minnesota exports are found at www.mda.state.mn.us/food/business/itradelinks.htm.

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