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Otter junket is paying off

BOISE – Gov. Butch Otter’s recently completed 10-day trade mission to China has led to a pair of deals for Idaho businesses, his office said.

Larsen Farms Hay Terminal of Dubois signed a contract to deliver 500 tons of compressed alfalfa hay a month, adding up to more than $1.5 million in annual sales.

Also, Independent Meat of Twin Falls received orders for six containers of pork products worth more than $300,000.

“China already is the No. 1 international destination for Idaho products,” Otter said. “But relative to the potential that’s there, we have barely scratched the surface.”

Otter also said that contacts made during the trip are among the most valuable accomplishments of the trade mission, which stopped in Beijing, Harbin, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

“China produces and consumes more potatoes than any other country in the world,” said Frank Muir, president of the Idaho Potato Commission, who was a part of the trade mission. “It represents a huge opportunity for Idaho potato products in all forms.”

Idaho exports to China added up to $731.4 million last year. So far this year, Idaho has exported $712 million to China.


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