U.S. Wanting to Import More Legumes to Cuba; USDA Looking at the Major Role of Women in AG.
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp used some face time with Cuban President Raul Castro to tell him Cuba should import more U.S. legumes. Heitkamp met Castro Friday at the United Nations General Assembly session. Crops, like black beans, peas and lentils, are in high demand in Cuba. Heitkamp and Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas introduced a bill to try to boost U.S. exports to the country by allowing Cubans to pay for goods with credit from U.S. bankers. Currently, Cuba has to provide cash up front to buy U.S. commodities, a situation that hampers trade, according to some lawmakers and farm groups.
About 31 percent of farmers in the U.S. are women, and they work more than 300 million acres, according to USDA. Just some of the statistics the department is highlighting in an effort to make the public aware of the major roles of women in agriculture. USDA spokeswoman Alyn Kiel said in a blog post "From the classroom to the farm to the boardroom, women in agriculture are helping to pave the way for a better future."