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Gov. Strickland Promotes Ohio Agriculture, Industry

Gov. Strickland had agriculture and industry on his mind Tuesday. Strickland spoke at the opening luncheon for the Farm Science Review near London. Strickland said Ohio agriculture is a model for the world.

"We have abundant, clean, safe food," Strickland says. "But it didn't just happen; it's the combined efforts of the farmers themselves, of the researchers, of the educators, of the marketers, the food processors. There are people here from around the world."

At the same time a delegation from Russia was wrapping up a visit to the state which began Monday with a visit to Scioto County. The Russian steel maker MMK is proposing a $1 billion investment to build a steel manufacturing facility near Portsmouth.

"What they saw was a large number of acres on the Ohio River bordered by rail service with sufficient power available and that's what they were looking for," Strickland says.

The governor says it's not a done deal; Ohio might be in competition with Canada for the plant. The final decision is up to the company which will look for tax benefits and other incentives. But Strickland says he hopes a decision favoring Ohio might be made by the end of the year.

"I would say, based on my opinion, it is ours to lose. And I think that puts a big responsibility on us to be tough negotiators but smart negotiators."