Ohio may export beef to Israel

Ohio-Israel connections

By Marshall Weiss, The Dayton Jewish Observer

Someday, when Israelis ask, ‘Where’s the beef?’ the answer could be, ‘From Ohio.’

On Feb. 1, Zvi Herman, Israel’s minister of agricultural and science affairs for North America, visited cattle operations, livestock inspection and quarantine facilities in southwest Ohio, with the aim of exporting cows and bulls to Israel.

Pending a forthcoming agreement between Israel and the United States, livestock may be shipped through the Wilmington Air Park.

Herman was accompanied on his Ohio trip by Daniel Kutner, Israeli consul general for the U.S. Mid Atlantic Region; their host for the visit was State Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R-Wilmington). State Rep. Majority Whip John Adams (R-Sidney) and State Rep. Bob Peterson (R-Fayette) also participated in meetings with the companies.

Israeli Minister of Agricultural & Science Affairs for North America, Zvi Herman

“You should know, we import probably more than 60 percent of our red meat from outside (of Israel), because we can’t grow,” Herman told more than 50 members of Dayton’s Jewish community at a luncheon on Feb. 2 at the Boonshoft Center for Jewish Culture and Education in Centerville.

He added that Israel also imports 70 percent of its grain for both human and livestock consumption.

“I think it’s appropriate and it’s a good market (for us) to have nice, Black Angus steaks on the tables in Israel.”

Herman’s site visits included Feed the World Cattle Export Operations in Sabina and Bluegrass Farms in Jeffersonville.

“Actually it’s a very complicated issue,” Herman said, about exporting beef from the United States.

“We have two ways to bring kosher meat to Israel. One, you can take a nice cow or bull from here, ship it over to Israel at half of the slaughtering size, and then you give it over to the Israel farmers and they will fatten it up to its commercial size, which is around 500 kilos, and then it comes to the table in a good restaurant.”

The alternative, Herman said, would be to handle the kosher slaughtering here in Ohio and ship the kosher meat to Israel.

His involvement in the process, he said, is to finalize the rules, regulations and protocol between the United States and Israel of “what’s accepted when you take a live animal over, when you ship it from here to Israel, or vice versa. I think it’s very much possible.”

While here, Herman and Kutner also met with the Dayton Development Coalition for a briefing on tech cooperatives.


Wright State to partner with Israeli Institute

On Feb. 15, Wright State University and the Israel Leadership Institute signed a memorandum of agreement, entering a partnership to promote academic exchange and international understanding.

The signing took place at the Statehouse in Columbus following Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom’s address to a joint session of the Ohio House and Senate.

A non-profit, ILI trains Jewish students from around the world to take more active roles in the leadership of Israel. ILI Executive Director Eeki Elner was present for the signing.

“We’re fostering a relationship that will increase intellectual and cultural exchanges between students, faculty and administrators of the Israel Leadership Institute and Wright State University,” said Wright State President David R. Hopkins.

According to Wright State spokesperson Cory MacPherson, the agreement could lead to the establishment of joint programs and exchanges among professors, lecturers, researchers and students.

MacPherson added that the idea for the partnership came from State Rep. Cliff Rosenberger and State Rep. Majority Whip John Adams. Both participated on a trade mission to Israel last year to help expand Ohio-Israel business ties.

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