October 20, 2006
Pictured left to right: Niu Tingtao, Dan Dierschke, Zhang Jigang, and Anna Chen.
Marilynn Dierschke socializes with TFB's Chinese guests at a dinner hosted by the Texas Beef Council.
It was the polite thing to do. District 8 State Director Dan Dierschke extended his hand in friendship to his hosts in the Shandong Province during Texas Farm Bureau's recent fact-finding mission to China, and suggested that Deputy Director-General Zhang Jigang visit if he ever came to the Lone Star State.
Little did Dierschke realize that less than two months later, Jigang would take him up on his offer.
"They were very warm hosts and I felt like when they said they were coming to visit, that we'd show them what Texas Farm Bureau hospitality is all about," Dierschke said. "And I think that local county Farm Bureau leaders who participated showed how we can be very hospitable ourselves."
Jigang, his interpreter and a media specialist were shown a cattle and hay operation, a pecan orchard, and a pecan retail store in Travis County. They ended the evening with a dinner hosted by the Texas Beef Council in Austin, featuring different cuts of beef, both top-of-the-line and value.
Jigang said his initial impression of Texans being "sincere, honest and warmhearted" people was strengthened with his visit to Travis County. He said he could foresee many business opportunities in the future between China and the United States.
"China is developing very fast and there will be more opportunities generating out of this process," he said.
Dierschke said it was his hope that Jigang would truly experience Texas agriculture"especially Texas beef, and go back with the message that we have an outstanding product for them."
Apparently, the trip made quite an impression. Here's what Jigang wrote:
"The visit to Austin has left us with the most cherishable impression among this trip and given us many `first times'the first time to visit the home of a rancher, the first time to ride on a horse in America and the first time to see how the pecans were picked...What's more the delicious taste of beef is just unforgettable."
"I hope that in the future we can strengthen our contact and promote cooperation between Shandong and Texas to let more and more people in Shandong have an opportunity to have a taste of the beef in Texas."