Indiana hopes stronger relations with Manitoba will benefit agriculture economic growth for the state and the Canadian province.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and members of the Indiana agricultural delegation met with officials from Canada’s Manitoba province Sept. 17 to discuss opportunities to grow both regions’ agricultural sectors. Indiana representatives along with Canadian officials signed a memorandum of understanding, which says the Indiana and Manitoba departments of agriculture agree to facilitate cooperation in several areas including agricultural research and development, youth education and leadership, and trade investment – all for the purpose of mutual economic growth.
“This agreement lays the groundwork to establishing a long-term cooperative relationship between Indiana and Manitoba,” Crouch said. “We look forward to the abundant opportunities this new partnership affords, especially in the area of agricultural economic development, and are excited about what the future holds for our two economies.”
The agricultural sector has been a key driver of trade and economic growth in both Manitoba and Indiana. Through the MOU, the two regions will encourage stronger partnerships between researchers, innovation leaders, businesses, and young farmers, and will share information and best practices to help each jurisdiction make the most of new opportunities to drive growth and innovation in agriculture and related sectors.
“Indiana and Manitoba share common priorities and strengths in the agricultural sector that provide excellent opportunities for more collaboration and information sharing,” said Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s minister of agriculture.
Manitoba is a major trading partner with Indiana. The state estimates two-way trade between Indiana and Manitoba was worth $1.1 billion in 2017, an increase of almost 36 percent since 2013. Indiana is Manitoba’s seventh-largest trading partner in the U.S.