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A Top Canadian Ag Official to Talk Trade at Iowa Ag Summit

The August 5 event is attracting global participation.

A top Canadian agriculture official will join a past president of the National Pork Producers Council and several U.S. equipment manufacturers for a panel discussion on trade and manufacturing at the August 5 Iowa Ag Summit, organizers said today.

This year’s summit is sponsored by Summit Agricultural Group. Successful Farming is the event’s exclusive media sponsor.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Assistant Deputy Minister Fred Gorrell has extensive experience with U.S.-Canada trade policy. He will share the stage with Randy Spronk of the National Pork Producers, Mark Core, vice president of marketing and life-cycle management of Vermeer, Corp., and Jim Field, president of John Deere’s agriculture and turf division.

“Talk about foreign trade often focuses on China, and rightly so, but Canada ranks second on the list of countries that trade with America, and first as a destination for U.S. exports. Last year, America exported $115.8 billion to China and imported $462.8 billion. At the same time, exports to Canada were $320 billion and imports were $308 billion,” event host Bruce Rastetter says. “We’re gratified to know that Mister Gorrell is joining us – and joining an outstanding panel – to discuss issues that are very important to both countries.”

Gorrell was agriculture counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Washington from 2004-2007, where he played a key role in advocating Canada’s market access interests during the height of the 2003 BSE crisis. A former executive director of international policy at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Gorrell was responsible for advancing and securing market access and trade policy interests in the areas of sanitary and other technical regulations. He was also part of the team that negotiated Canadian access during China’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

Spronk is the managing partner for two family farm enterprises. Spronk Brothers III LLP is involved in pork production, marketing 120,000 head annually. Spronk and his Ranger Farms LLP partners also raise corn and soybeans on 2,000 acres. He is also involved with the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, serving as president in 1999.

Core joined Pella-based Vermeer Corporation in 1996. He was named an executive-team member and vice president of the ag product group in 2002. His role was expanded in 2004 to include overseeing management of global parts distribution, parts marketing, external training, and market research.

Rastetter and Summit Agricultural Group hosted the first-ever Iowa Ag Summit in March 2015, featuring one-on-one discussions on agriculture and economic issues with the field of presidential candidates. This year’s gathering, to be held at the Iowa Events Center, will share unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing today’s agricultural industry.

It will feature state, regional, national, and international officials. It will include keynote speeches, panel discussions, and agricultural exhibits, providing a platform for elected officials, public policy leaders, agri-business leaders, and the public to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing today’s agricultural industry.

For more information, please visit For ticket information, please contact Jill Ryan at (515) 282-3000 or

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