U.S. farmers have a “great opportunity” to increase shipments overseas because of the expanding global appetite for pork, said Terry Branstad, the governor of Iowa, the biggest pork-producing state in the U.S.
“With the growing world population, especially in Asia, there’s great opportunity to increase exports,” Branstad said today during a speech to a group of producers at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.
While running for governor in 2010, Branstad set a goal of increasing exports by 20 percent in five years. That goal is “pretty modest,” and the state may be able to exceed that, Branstad said while speaking to reporters at the expo after addressing the producers.
“A lot of jobs in Iowa are dependent on exports,” Branstad said. “Obviously, one of the reasons why we’re experiencing good corn, soybean, pork and beef prices in Iowa today is because of the export market, and we need to continue to grow that.”
There’s “tremendous demand” for pork, Branstad said. In China, the world’s biggest consumer, people are eating more protein in their diet, and pork is a big part of that, he said.