That’s a wrap

Gov. Holcomb concludes trade mission to Brazil, Mexico bolstering partnership  

INDIANAPOLIS (April 22, 2024) – Governor Eric J. Holcomb and First Lady Janet Holcomb returned Friday night from a trade mission with leaders from the agbiosciences and agriculture sectors as well as representatives of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). The delegation included: Alex Cochran, Chief Technology Officer, DPH Biologicals; Mitch Frazier, CEO, AgriNovus Indiana; Courtnery Kingery, CEO, Indiana Corn Marketing Council & Indiana Soybean Alliance; Don Lamb, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture; Jerry Shively, Associate Dean for International Programs, College of Agriculture, Purdue University; Leonardo Chapula, Human Sector Marketing Specialist, Americas, U.S. Soybean Export Council; Doug Newcom, vice president of genetics and technology at the National Swine Registry; and Paul Siems, export sales manager at Weaver Popcorn. 

Brazil and Mexico, like Indiana, both share robust agbiosciences and agricultural industries, advancing global services, products and solutions across agriculture, food production and animal health. Indiana trade between Brazil and Mexico topped $1.7 billion and $13.4 billion in 2023, respectively, and the state is already home to 14 Brazil-based and 13 Mexico-based business establishments. The Governor’s trip was an opportunity for some of Indiana’s leading agtech thinkers and innovators to share expertise and highlight Indiana’s $58 billion-dollar ag economy in two key markets. More broadly, the trip to Mexico also highlighted new opportunities in emerging industries such as microelectronics and e-mobility. 

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In Brazil, the delegation met with Consul General David Hodge, a fellow Hoosier and Indiana University Bloomington graduate. This year, Brazil and the United States celebrated the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations.

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The delegation met with Elanco Brazil’s General Manager Fernanda Hoe in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to reaffirm Indiana’s ongoing support for businesses growing in the Hoosier state.

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Daniel Binette, General Manager of Eli Lilly and Company, Brazil, discussed opportunities the company anticipates in Indiana, the U.S. and globally. Lilly’s continued and growing presence in Indiana contributes to the state’s economic success on a global scale.

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While in Brazil, Gov. Holcomb met with U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, discussing the 200-year partnership between the U.S. and Brazil and the need for expanded market access for Indiana biofuels in Brazil.

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Corteva Brazil Country Leader Juan Carlos Rojas met with the delegation and enthusiastically shared his company’s commitment to growing and continuing the relationship between Corteva and Indiana. Corteva’s Indianapolis headquarters is a hub for research, housing more than 40 greenhouses and employing 2,000 Hoosiers.

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While in Sao Paulo, Mitch Frazier, CEO of AgriNovus Indiana, and the Indiana delegation, in partnership with Bayer, facilitated a discussion with entrepreneurs, startups and small business leaders. The group discussed Indiana’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and how international startups could grow in the Hoosier state.

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Dr. Jerry Shively, Associate Dean for International Programs, College of Agriculture, Purdue University, represented Indiana’s higher education sector. Dr. Shively shared the importance of the historical partnership and exchange between Brazil and Indiana within higher education and research.

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Alex Cochran, Chief Technology Officer, DPH Biologicals, provided deep knowledge and expertise with the delegation during meetings in Sao Paulo.

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Don Lamb, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, joined the delegation in Brazil. While there, Director Lamb shared his vision and firsthand knowledge of the farming sector in Indiana with business leaders, diplomatic representatives, entrepreneurs and more.

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In Mexico City, the Indiana delegation held a roundtable with the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council, Probocca, and Maple Leaf Farms, which has operations in Kosciusko County. Courtney Kingery, CEO, Indiana Corn Marketing Council & Indiana Soybean Alliance, talked about the massive circular agricultural market between Mexico and Indiana, which is fueled by robust producers and exporters.

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With operations in both Mexico and Indiana, Atarraya’s Shrimpbox makes it possible to raise shrimp sustainably almost anywhere. Atarraya CEO Daniel Russek shared with the Indiana delegation what makes his company unique and how Indiana has helped his company grow in the U.S. 

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As part of the delegation, Dr. Doug Newcom with the Indiana Pork Producers Association shared the state’s vision and mission for pork production. In 2023, the U.S. exported $2.35 billion of pork and pork products to Mexico making it the third most valuable export commodity.

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Leonardo Chapula, Human Sector Marketing Specialist – Americas, U.S. Soybean Export Council, pictured above with the delegation at Atarraya, shared his expertise on the soy economy and how Indiana is fueling growth and demand for soy products in Mexico. U.S. soybeans have the largest market share in Mexico, providing more than 88% of total imports.


In Mexico, Gov. Holcomb and the delegation met with Mexican Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro.


Gov. Holcomb met with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. Ambassador Salazar hosted a reception for the Indiana delegation at his residence and shared in formal remarks his appreciation for the synergies he sees between the economies of Indiana and Mexico.

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Paul Siems, export sales manager at Weaver Popcorn, joined the delegation in Mexico City to represent the private corn industry in Indiana. Mexico is the number-one importer of U.S. corn in the world. Indiana’s corn economy generates more than $4 billion in economic output and employs nearly 18,000 people.

This trip marked Gov. Holcomb’s 22nd international economic development trip as governor and his first official visits to Brazil and Mexico.

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