Stanley Johnson, Extension, (515) 294-6192
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
RUSSIA'S TOP AGRICULTURAL OFFICIAL VISITING ISU MONDAY
AMES, Iowa -- Russia's highest-ranking agricultural official will visit Iowa State University Monday during a trip to Iowa.
Alexander Zaverjukha, deputy prime minister of Russia, will speak to ISU faculty, staff and students Monday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union's Campanile Room. He is expected to talk about the United States' involvement in agricultural changes in Russia.
Zaverjukha, 56, has been deputy prime minister since 1993. He reports to the prime minister, who reports to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Zaverjukha oversees several Russian agencies, including agriculture and food, land resources, forestry and environmental protection. He has a doctorate in agriculture.
"Dr. Zaverjukha has never traveled to the heartland of the United States before," said Stan Johnson, ISU's vice provost for extension. "His visit to campus will be an excellent opportunity to acquaint him with Iowa State's agricultural and extension staff, and to look at new avenues for our university to work with his nation."
Johnson explained that Russia is building an agricultural infrastructure, and Russian officials look to the U.S. for assistance in areas such as distribution, marketing and extension.
"They have nothing in Russia like our extension service," Johnson explained. "I understand extension is one of the things in which they're very interested."
Zaverjukha is coming to Iowa at the invitation of Coon Rapids businessman John Chrystal to explore commercial opportunities with Iowa government and business leaders. He will visit Pioneer International Hi-Bred Inc. in Johnston and John Deere and Co. in Moline, Ill. Stops also are planned for Coon Rapids and Carroll.
Chrystal, who has been traveling to Russia for nearly 40 years, has known Zaverjukha for about 10 years.
The Iowa visit comes prior to Zaverjukha's participation in discussions between the U.S. and Russian governments in Washington, D.C., Feb. 6-8. Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin are leading the meetings. Zaverjukha also is expected to make a brief stop in Chicago prior to returning to Moscow.
NOTE: The media is invited to Zaverjukha's speech (through an interpreter) on Monday.
Zaverjukha is pronounced "ZAVER-roo-ka"
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