Been briefing and writing about this one going back to about . . . I wanna say 2006. I remember the slide I had my old slidemaster Bradd Hayes generate for what was still the Blueprint for Action brief.
Here is the reality as captured in the piece: US demand flattening, China's skyrocketing - especially for dairy (it's a growing middle class, mind you).
The head of California Dairies: "We're in an evolution. No question."
Markets "once treated as an afterthought" are now "reshaping the relationship between rural America and the rest of the world."
What are you really exporting when you export milk - even milk powder? Water. Whether or not you take it out for packanging, a whole lot of water goes into milk - directly and indirectly.
That's why the Kiwis have been in the lead.
It wasn't just the geographic proximity but the excess of water on a per capita basis (New Zealand has about 5 times the water it needs).
California ag exports to China and HK are up 85% since 2008: "All of a sudden, milk powder has become this valuable commodity." The sent this year's Miss California to China to hawk pistachios.
Amber waves of grain, my friends, in a back-to-the-future development that marks the resurgence of the economy - with ag and energy in the lead.
And yeah, both are plenty high-tech.