Canadian Agriculture Official to Participate in Trade and Manufacturing Discussion at Iowa Ag Summit

DES MOINES, Iowa  – A top Canadian agricultural official will join a past president of the National Pork Producers Council and several U.S. equipment manufacturers for a panel discussion on trade and manufacturing at the Aug. 5 Iowa Ag Summit, organizers said today.

Fred Gorrell of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has extensive experience with U.S.-Canada trade policy. He will share the stage with Randy Spronk of the National Pork Producers, Mark Core, vice president of Marketing and Lifecycle Management of Vermeer, Corp., and Jim Field, president of John Deere‘s Agriculture and Turf Division.

“Talk about foreign trade often focuses on China, and rightly so, but Canada ranks second on the list of countries that trade with America, and first as a destination for U.S. exports. Last year, America exported $115.8 billion to China and imported $462.8 billion. At the same time, exports to Canada were $320 billion and imports were $308 billion,” event host Bruce Rastetter said. “We’re gratified to know that Minister Gorrell is joining us – and joining an outstanding panel – to discuss issues that are very important to both countries.”

Gorrell was Agriculture Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Washington from 2004-2007, where he played a key role in advocating Canada’s market access interests during the height of the 2003 BSE crisis. A former executive director of international policy at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Gorrell was responsible for advancing and securing market access and trade policy interests in the areas of sanitary and other technical regulations. He was also part of the team that negotiated Canadian access during China’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

Spronk is the managing partner for two family farm enterprises. Spronk Brothers III LLP is involved in pork production, marketing 120,000 head annually. Spronk and his Ranger Farms LLP partners also raise corn and soybeans on 2,000 acres. He is also involved with the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, serving as president in 1999.

Core joined Pella-based Vermeer Corp. in 1996. He was named an executive-team member and vice president of the ag product group in 2002. His role was expanded in 2004 to include overseeing management of global parts distribution, parts marketing, external training and market research.

Field has led John Deere’s Agriculture and Turf Division – Americas, Australia, and Global Harvesting & Turf Platforms since September 2012. He joined Deere & Company in 1994 and has held a number of positions in the areas of accounting, treasury, and business development and planning.

Rastetter and Summit Agricultural Group hosted the first-ever Iowa Ag Summit in March 2015, featuring one-on-one discussions on agriculture and economic issues with the field of presidential candidates.  This year’s gathering, to be held at the Iowa Events Center, will share unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing today’s agricultural industry.

This year’s summit is sponsored by Summit Agricultural Group and Successful Farming is the event’s exclusive media sponsor. It will feature state, regional, national and international officials. It will include keynote speeches, panel discussions and agricultural exhibits, providing a platform for elected officials, public policy leaders, agri-business leaders and the public to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing today’s agricultural industry.

For more information, please visit: or for ticket information, please contact Jill Ryan at (515) 282-3000 or

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About Summit Agricultural Group

Founded in 1990 by entrepreneur and agribusiness pioneer Bruce Rastetter, Summit Agricultural Group is a diverse farming, agricultural investment, and farm management company headquartered in Alden, Iowa. Summit’s diverse operations include successful row crop, beef cattle and pork farms in the U.S. and a growing presence in the South American biofuels market. For additional information, please visit:

About the Iowa Ag Summit

The Iowa Ag Summit is an event to highlight and promote agriculture, allowing elected officials, public policy leaders, industry leaders and invited guests to have a public discussion on issues that are vital to the Iowa and American economy. The forum is solely dedicated to matters that directly affect Iowa farmers who feed and fuel not just the country, but the world. For additional information, please visit:

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The Meredith Agrimedia brand, owned and operated by Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP;, builds on Meredith Corporation’s 115-year heritage of serving the information needs of rural and farm families through more than 4 million touchpoints. It encompasses Successful Farming magazine, Living the Country Life magazine, Country Gardens magazine, and Ageless Iron Almanac to provide marketing solutions by engaging those living on the land through a wide variety of platforms, including publishing, digital, broadcast and mobile. Successful Farming magazine was Meredith’s first publication in 1902. Its website,, was established in 1995 as one of the first agricultural websites in America.