Ribeyes, Beef Tongue, Corn, and More on the Menu for Upcoming Trade Trip

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  No other country has more people living there, with 1,387,000,000 and counting. Iowa producers see dollar signs. That is why several dozen are joining new Governor Kim Reynolds as she goes to China next month for her first overseas trade mission trip as governor.

The trip, scheduled for July 19-28th, means a reunion for Reynolds. Her former boss, longtime Governor Terry Branstad, should be in place as the new U.S. Ambassador to China by then. The two share a goal for the trip: to dine on some Iowa beef. “Timing is everything,” the governor said Tuesday during her weekly news conference.

China is set to lift its 13-year ban on U.S. produced beef that started because of concerns about Mad Cow Disease. That could mean big opportunities for producers once that ban ends.

A few dozen other Iowans could accompany Reynolds on the trade mission, representing industries like turkey, pork, egg, soybean, and dairy.

John Brooks–from B & B Grocery, Meat and Deli, a longtime Des Moines neighborhood mainstay–says Chinese consumers can look forward to quality Iowa meat. “The smell, the texture, the flavor,” Brooks said of the uniqueness of the meat, “everything…the look.”

Brooks sold out of beef tongue over the weekend, which, coincidentally, is a unique taste for some Asian consumers. Iowa beef producers think once the Chinese ban on U.S. beef ends, they will find an enhanced market for tongue.

The new governor announced the upcoming trade mission in her first joint, weekly news conference with Acting Lt. Governor Adam Gregg Tuesday.

Iowans are still getting used to the new titles for everyone involved. That includes the lt. governor-turned governor. A reporter asked Reynolds whether she could expect Iowa beef on the menu when she goes to China. "If the governor has his way," then she corrected herself, "or the ambassador."

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