Dr. Kirk Pomper, director of Kentucky State University Land Grant Programs and interim dean of Kentucky State’s College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems has returned from a weeklong agricultural trade mission to Canada. The goal of this agriculture-focused trade mission was to generate export opportunities by connecting the Kentucky farm community to new international markets.

The agricultural trade mission was led by Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles. He was joined by members from the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Farm Credit, Alltech, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Equus Run Vineyards LLC, Kentucky Corn Growers, University of Kentucky and Pomper from Kentucky State University. Over the course of the trip, Pomper visited farms in Ontario, participated in an agriculture and agribusiness symposium with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and met with representatives of Masterfeeds/Alltech. Pomper also made a presentation entitled “Kentucky Agriculture and Kentucky State University: Growing Together!” to faculty at the University of Guelph and participated in round-table discussions.

After discussions with administrators at the University of Guelph, a memorandum of understanding is being developed that would lead to an exchange of educational programming between the University of Guelph and Kentucky State University for meat and dairy goat production, as well as aquaculture production. A memorandum of understanding is also under development with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to conduct a trial of Kentucky State University pawpaw selections in the environment of Ontario. These agreements could lead to informational exchanges and germplasm (genetics) exchanges that benefit producers in both the United States and Canada.