Press Releases


Commissioner Quarles to Advocate for Kentucky Agriculture in Japan as Part of New Trade Initiative


For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 31, 2017
For more information contact:
Sean Southard
(502) 782-9253


FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles will travel to Japan for an international trade mission with the United States Meat Export Federation to advocate for Kentucky farmers Sept. 3-8.

“Last week, I announced my administration would begin taking a more assertive role in international trade,” said Commissioner Quarles. “Kentucky needs international trade, but more importantly, the rest of the world needs Kentucky. I am excited to travel to Japan and make the case to Japanese consumer groups that Kentucky should be at the top of their list when looking to purchase agricultural products.”

Commissioner Quarles will serve as a member of a delegation meeting with importers, distributors, retailers, and processors interested in purchasing products from the United States. Other Kentuckians on the trade mission include Dave Maples, executive vice president for the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, and Ray Allan Mackey, board member for the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council. The U.S. Meat Export Federation is sponsoring the trip. No state taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for Quarles’ travel expenses.

Kentucky’s total agricultural and related product exports amounted to more than $1 billion in 2016, with $108 million in exports to Japan. Top Kentucky agricultural products exported last year included purebred horses ($54 million) and distilled spirits ($44 million).

Recently, the Government of Japan announced that rising imports of frozen beef triggered a safeguard, resulting in an automatic increase in the Japanese tariff rate to 50 percent.