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Ohio Promotes Farm Exchange With Israel

For the first time, a foreign country is promoting agricutural ties to Ohio at the Farm Science Review in London. Through the non-profit Negev Foundation of Cleveland, Israel is using the large Midwest farm expo to build commerce.

Among the nearly 600 tractor, antique farm equipment, and other commercial displays at the Farm Science Review in Madison County, stands the Israel Agriculture Pavillion. Israeli Consul Shahar Shelef, was among a small group of representatives awaiting visitors. "I'm here as part of this magnificent summit to show the other face of Israel." says Shelef.

Consul Shelef says the "other face" of Israel includes a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry. The Israeli farm sector thrives even though half of the country is desert land. But, Ohio-Israel Agricultural Initiative President, Sam Hoenig, sees opportunities for more commercial ties.

Hoenig cites Ohio's beef industry as an example of potential trade between Ohio and Israel.

John Wozny and his wife Mary Ellen, have a herd of about 25 brooder cows at their small farm in Coolville, Ohio, near the the West Virginia border. The couple thinks its breed of cattle, Murray Grey,is a good fit for the semi-arid climate of Israel.

While the Wozny's examine various displays at the Ohio-Israel exhibit, Sam Hoenig is encouraging them and others to get a first hand look at Israeli agriculture through what he calls "farmer-to-farmer" trade missions to the Holy Land.