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Lt. Governor Foley, NDA Assistant Director Travel to Israel to Promote Nebraska Ag

LINCOLN – Lt. Governor Mike Foley and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Assistant Director Mat Habrock will be in Israel Nov. 27-30 to promote the state's agriculture industry and attend a special dinner reception at the U.S. Ambassador's residence featuring beef from  Nebraska. 

The dinner celebrates the arrival of the first shipment from the WR Reserve processing plant in Hastings, Nebraska, the only Israeli-approved kosher beef facility in the United States. Business leaders, politicians and members of the news media will be in attendance at the Ambassador's dinner to commemorate the arrival of U.S. beef to the newly-opened market.

"Along with showcasing Nebraska's quality beef, this trip gives us an opportunity to strengthen existing partnerships and build new relationships to further expand agriculture trade with Israel," said Foley. "Exporting our products to an international market like Israel helps grow Nebraska by creating opportunities for the state's ag producers, communities and the economy."   Earlier this month, WR Reserve announced that the export market spurred a plant expansion and would create 100 new jobs. 

"Showcasing beef at special events like this is part of our ongoing effort to tell the story of Nebraska agriculture," said Habrock. "While we're in Israel we're going to work hard to develop and promote the Nebraska brand of excellence and further our state's export efforts for all Nebraska agricultural goods."

In December 2003, Israel banned beef imports from the United States due to a confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Washington state. Israel lifted the 13-year-old ban on U.S. beef imports in February 2016.  

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, $433 million of beef products were imported by Israel in 2015, with more than 90 percent of those imports coming from South America and the rest from Europe. Nebraska hopes to claim a significant share of this beef market.