Kentucky Ag commish goes on foreign trips after 2-year pause

March 15, 2022 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles recently visited the Middle East and Europe on federal trade missions.

The ag commissioner’s office said the trips ended a two-year pause on U.S. Department of Agriculture trade visits due to the pandemic.

Quarles, a Republican in his second term as commissioner, visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in February along with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. Earlier this month, Quarles traveled to England for talks on a new bilateral agreement with the U.S.

“With people traveling again, I believe it is important to get back to normal, pursue international trade relationships and put the interests of Kentucky farmers first,” Quarles said in a media release from the ag department. “Any time we can sell more Kentucky agricultural products, that’s a win for our state.”

The state exported more than $11 million in agricultural products to the UAE and more than $98 million to the United Kingdom in 2021, the agriculture department said in the release.