On Thursday, Dec. 3, the Montana World Trade Center (MWTC) will host a 90 minute Montana – Israel Virtual Trade Forum.
Starting at 9 a.m., the event will highlight the opportunities to grow trade between Montana and Israel and will focus on the agricultural and ag-tech industries.
Abby Majerus, Foreign Direct Investment Program Manager for MWTC, said that due to COVID-19 a trade mission to Israel could not occur. But, with the use of modern technology, Montana and Israel can come together to create a lasting trade partnership.
“We're going to do a virtual trade format instead of a trade mission to Israel,” said Majerus. “We just started to see a lot of synergies between Montana and Israel as far as technology in the agriculture sector as well as some ag production. So, we wanted to highlight those.”
The forum will focus on the entrepreneurial spirit that is generating advancements in agriculture.
“We're going to try and focus on entrepreneurship, including drone technologies,” said Majerus. “Montana has a strong photonics and optics cluster in the Gallatin Valley that can provide some potential research and development in the autonomous driving vehicles, including tractors. They also have a lot of irrigation technology happening in Israel and we have a lot of dry land in Montana there is opportunity. There are a lot of up-and-coming greenhouse hydroponic endeavors that I think would find some synergy there as well.”
With cutting-edge agriculture technology coming from both Montana and Israeli inventors and researchers, the trade forum can help farmers maximize their natural resource and yield potential, while also creating a lasting trade partnership.
“The entrepreneurship in the two regions is important,” said Majerus. "Montana State University has a strong extensive agriculture science curriculum, and I think that there is a lot of ag entrepreneurs coming out of MSU and Israel is seeing the same thing."
Speakers for the virtual event include Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Shlomi Kofman, Consul General, Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, Ben Thomas, Director, the Montana Department of Agriculture and Brigitta Miranda-Freer, Executive Director, Montana World Trade Center among others.
To see the full lineup of speakers and to register for the Montana – Israel Virtual Trade Forum, visit mwtc.org.