Winnepeg, Canada — Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and members of the Indiana agricultural delegation concluded the economic development mission to Canada’s Manitoba Province today, advancing international ties in agriculture and trade investment.Visiting Manitoba was Indiana’s second trip to Canada this year, following the governor’s visit to Quebec and Ontario last spring.“Manitoba is one of Canada’s leading agricultural provinces and shares many of the same values we cherish in Indiana, so this was the perfect destination for my first agricultural trade mission,” Crouch said. “We look forward to cultivating this relationship, keeping those channels of communication open and building synergy towards a brighter future for our two economies.”Agriculture and trade are major economic drivers for Indiana and Manitoba. Nearly 190,000 jobs in the state depend on trade and investment with Canada, and Indiana is one of Manitoba’s largest export partners in the U.S.One of the goals of the trip was to strengthen the economic relationship between Indiana and Manitoba through greater collaboration. In addition to signing a memorandum of understanding with the Manitoba government, the delegation participated in business round tables with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Business Council of Manitoba, which allowed them to network and establish relationships with provincial leaders.“Relationships are indispensable in the agriculture industry, especially when it comes to international trade,” Kettler said. “I’m confident this expanded partnership, based on shared interests and mutual respect, will open the door to new markets and create growth opportunities for both of our agricultural sectors.”Growing agricultural education and youth leadership was another focus of the mission. The delegation met with representatives from the University of Manitoba, which is one of western Canada’s largest research intensive universities, and identified areas for future collaboration, for instance, establishing an agriculture-based student exchange program.Continuing the conversation, the delegation traveled to the Farm and Food Discovery Centre, where Lt. Gov. Crouch, John Baugh, Director of Ag Services Regulations with Purdue University, representing Indiana 4-H, and Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization, led a discussion on the importance of youth leadership organizations, like FFA and 4-H, and exchanged ideas to shore up these efforts.“Lifting up the next generation of agricultural leaders is critical to the future of this industry,” Crouch said. “We are excited to work with stakeholders in Manitoba to take our agricultural leadership programs to the Next Level.”A final priority of the trip was to increase knowledge sharing in the areas of seed genetics and research. The delegation visited the Food Development Centre, an internationally recognized facility that works to bring new and innovative products to market. There, they learned about food development and research, and listened to a panel discussion on the Canadian hemp industry.The delegation also conducted brief visits to the Canadian International Grain Institute and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre.