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Knierim farm hosts Chinese

By Staff | Jun 17, 2012

Bill Horan, who co-owns and operates the Horan Brothers Farm in Knierim, speaks with Lian Qing, of the Development Center of Science & Technology, and Dr. Wang Zhi-Xing, of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Studies.

By PETER KASPARI

“mailto:pkaspari@messengernews.net”>pkaspari@messengernews.net

KNIERIM – A farm in Calhoun County hosted visitors from China Friday whose interest in visiting the states is to learn more about genetically modified farming.

Dr. Wang Zhi-Xing, of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Lian Qing, of the Development Center of Science & Technology, visited the Horan brothers’ farm, which is owned and operated by Bill and Joe Horan, of Knierim.

The delegation, accompanied by Stanley Johnson, assistant to the dean of Special Projects at the University of Nevada-Reno, toured the Horan farm with Bill Horan and the farm’s operations manager, Dave Anderson.

Lian Qing, of China’s Development Center of Science & Technology, snaps a photo of a combine at the Horan Brothers Farm in Knierim. Qing was at the farm Friday morning to find out about genetically-modified foods, which are grown by Bill Horan and his brother Joe.

Wang said the purpose of the visit was to gather information on genetically modified organisms, in this case row crops, and report back to the Chinese government.

“Our government wants to promote the implementation of GMO,” Wang said. “But they want to know more about it before they make a decision.”

Johnson said Wang and Qing, who will return to China in July, have already visited farms in Louisiana and Mississippi. After their visit to Knierim, Johnson said they were traveling to Ames.

During the tour Friday morning, Horan and Anderson talked about the process of using genetically modified corn and other crops, and they showed the equipment they use and answered questions.

Horan, who has given tours to groups interested in GMO crops before, said he explains the advantages of using them.

Bill Horan, left, of the Horan Brothers Farm, listens as Dr. Wang Zhi-Xing, of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, asks him a question about roundup-ready sweet corn. Wang, a visitor from China, was at the farm Friday morning seeking information about genetically-modified foods.

“Since the U.S. farmers are using more and more GMOs, we want to make sure our customers are happy and satisfied,” he said. “By giving them tours and showing them the farm, it shows them we don’t haphazardly move. We have a system and a process for what we do.”

The tours help calm the concerns that governments may have about the process, he said.

“They want to know they’re bringing a consistent product into their country. They don’t want any surprises.”

Horan also enjoys showing the process to visitors.

“We only use what’s needed and where we need it,” he said. “We can show them they don’t need to worry.”

While Wang wasn’t sure if this was something that China would approve, he said the process impressed him.

“It seems like its good for labor, and money and the environment,” he said. “Maybe we can learn something about it for China.”

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