LOCAL agriculture expert Don Lawson recently visited China as part of a regional and rural delegation exploring opportunities for developing sister city partnerships.
Warrnambool City Council has fostered a relationship with Changchung in north-east China (population 7.5 million) to develop joint opportunities for their dairy and meat industries and educational programs.
Mr Lawson, who is involved with Lawsons Angus and Paringa Livestock, and artificial breeding supplier Genetics Australia, spent one week as part of the delegation meeting with various agricultural and educational companies and groups in the province.
He said the aim was to examine regional partnerships between a Victorian and Chinese rural area, and further build trust and long term relationships, the benefit of which is potential improved trade relations with regional Victoria.
As well as the dairy and meat industries, educational opportunities are being promoted, so young people in regional areas can gain an understanding and develop networks that can assist into the future with trade, friendship and cultural exchanges in China.
“There is a primary school exchange program between Woodford School in Warrnambool and a school in Changchung, with students, teachers and parents involved, giving young people, our future farmers, a chance to start building long term relationships,” Mr Lawson said.