Posted on December 10, 2013 at 8:13 AM by Iowa Corn
The I-LEAD team rendezvoused at Des Moines early Sunday morning and after a quick hop to Chicago's O'Hare International, we were ready to begin our ten day trade mission to China on behalf of Iowa's corn growers. A light snow was beginning to fall as we embarked on the 13 hour flight, which delayed our takeoff only slightly. Most of us had pictured flying West, but the flight plan took us due North over Canada and over the polar ice cap before dropping down over Russia and Mongolia - a much shorter route from A to B on this tiny orb we call home.
|View of Beijing from our hotel room.|
We touched down in a relatively warm Beijing (40F) and were met by Bryan Lohmar, Country Director for China with the U.S. Grains Council, with whom we will be spending the next few days. En route to the hotel, he provided a brief overview on what to expect in our first few days and laid out our itinerary for tomorrow, which involves a trip to the U.S. Embassy and tours of "wet markets" (more on this tomorrow). The air quality (or rather lack thereof) is definitely noticeable, and is going to take some getting used to for this group of farm kids.
In the evening, we attended an informal reception with a few representatives from the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and most turned in early due to our weary travel state. Various methods for avoiding jet lag had been employed by our team members, including avoiding sleep Saturday night prior to departure and the old go-to red wine on the plane, all were equally unsuccessful.
Everyone is excited about what we are going to learn in the coming days, and we would like to reiterate our thanks to the sponsors of our mission!Devin Mogler is senior vice president of operations for Farmers Cooperative Company. He has been with the company since 2008. Mogler is a graduate of Iowa State University and grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Lyon County in northwest Iowa.