Michigan Farmers hope for stronger relationship with Cuba for trading and business

(WLNS) – President Obama visited Cuba today, but back in Michigan, Farmers are also hoping for a stronger relationship with the country to increase trade and business.

“The President can represent government issues, but I can’t wait for Farmer to Farmer. That’s when we talk our own language and we can get together and start to create a partnership,” Owner of Haynes Farms Gary Haynes said.

Haynes isn’t the only Michigan Farmer who believes there could be a major benefit from a less restricted trade relationship with our southern neighbors. Jim Byrum with the Michigan Agri-Business Association says opening communication is a two-fold benefit.

“It’s a situation of rising ships, if the tide increases, all ships go up,” Byrum said.

Not only could Michigan gain business through trade, but Cuba could benefit from America’s technology and farming advice to grow their own economy.

One of the main road blocks in the way of this communication between countries is the U.S. Embargo, which U.S. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is working to end with legislation she helped co-author.

“I think it’s time to vote and I think if the vote was held today then is would pass and I hope that the President’s visit will give it the energy and focus to be able to get this passed,” Senator Stabenow said.

The next step is working with the Cuban government to ease the personal relationships, to grow the bond between farmers and businesses.

“Finally after years of being stubborn, we lowered our barriers and start to communicate,” Haynes said.

Michigan Farmers are now in a state of waiting to see how long this process may take, and hope, for the benefit of both Michigan and Cuba, that it is sooner rather than later.


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