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WVDA TO HOST TRADE DELEGATION OF
LEADING CHINESE LANDSCAPING COMPANIES
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) will host a delegation of major Chinese landscaping and plant nursery companies to promote some of West Virginia’s producers and products. Some of the projects the Chinese companies have worked on include the iconic Summer Palace, the National Stadium used for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing Capital Airport, and numerous other highway, residential and construction projects.
The group will tour Bob’s Market and Greenhouse in Mason and then attend a reception at Capitol Market with Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass and representatives of the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (WVNLA) October 22. The next day, they will travel to southern West Virginia to visit Cole Nurseries, Sunshine Farm & Gardens and The Greenbrier.
Bob’s Market is one of the top-10 greenhouse plug producers in the country, and Sunshine Farm & Garden produces more than 10,000 uncommon plants and native perennial plants. Cole Nurseries is a three-generation operation now in its 75th year of business, and The Greenbrier is world-renowned for its landscaping and grounds.
“This trade mission represents a lot of hard work by members of the Department’s staff and state’s horticulture operations, I think our visitors will be very impressed by what they find here,” said Commissioner Douglass. “West Virginia has a substantial nursery industry that exports product across the country and around the world.”
The industry generates $23.3 million in sales of nursery, greenhouse, flora and sod products, according to Beth Loflin, Executive Director of the WVNLA, which was founded in 1939 and offers members educational and other opportunities.
The mission is the first cooperative venture with WVDA and WVLNA promoting one of the state’s most prolific industries to international buyers. In addition to member support and visit sites, the group is sponsoring several of the event’s activities.
The trade mission is sponsored by the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), a non-profit agricultural export trade development association comprised of the departments of agriculture of 15 southern states and Puerto Rico. SUSTA was founded in 1973, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
WVDA Marketing and Development Specialist Cindy Martel, also SUSTA co-manager of the trip, said the trade mission is part of ongoing international initiatives.
“SUSTA has also been involved in missions to China, as well as trade missions to and from Australia and Canada. There’s a huge worldwide market for the agricultural products of our region, and we’re working to open doors for our companies,” said Martel. “We’re also very grateful for the involvement of the WVNLA in this project. They’ve been a huge help in putting this together.”
For more information, contact Cindy Martel at 304-541-9756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs, as mandated by state law. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials in West Virginia. For more information, visit www.wvagriculture.org.
“The Basis of All Wealth is Agriculture.”