Chinese VP visits family farm in Iowa

DES MOINESthe United StatesChinese Vice-President Xi Jinpingwho is on a five-dayofficial visit to the United Statestoured a family farm in the central state of Iowa on Thursday.

Rick Kimberleya 61-year-old soybean and corn farmerand his family greeted Xi and hisentourage in front of their housetogether with Iowa State Governor Terry BranstadUSSecretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and others.

Grant KimberleyRick Kimberley's 36-year-old songreeted Xi by saying "Ni Hao" (hello inChinese). Grantwho runs the family farm together with his fatherhas traveled to China fourtimeswith another trip slated for March.

Xi sat down on a living room sofa next to Rick Kimberleywith the latter's 8-month-old grandsonAustin gurgling on his mother Natalie's lap.

Xi said he was very glad to visit the Kimberley family farm. "Would you like your family to keepdoing farming?" he asked Rickthrough an interpreter.

"Yeswe're very interested in Grant continuing to farm," answered Rickwho has farmed forover 40 yearsHe then gestured toward his grandsonsaying that perhaps the cominggenerations would end up following the family tradetoo.

Xi also asked a variety of questions on production work and management of the farmincludinghow they read market signs and signalshow to weather years of poor harvestshow toguarantee environmental protectionand whether they had trouble gaining financing for crops.

Calling the farm "a very homey environment," Xi said he really enjoyed it.

The elder Kimberley then showed Xi around the farmintroducing him several large pieces ofequipmentincluding a tractor trailer and a combine and seed planter.

Xi then climbed onto the tractor trailer with Rick Kimberley and tried his hand at operating themachine.

At the end of the farm tourXi shook Rick Kimberley's hand and wished him a better harvestthis year.

Iowa was the second leg of Xi's US visitHe visited Washington on Monday and Tuesday beforecoming to IowaThe last stop is Los Angeles.

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