When President Obama announced in late 2014 that he would work toward ending the embargo on trade with Cuba, it wasn’t just tourists perking up their ears. Midwest farmers and ranchers see communist Cuba as an untapped market for goods from the American Heartland.
One of those farmers is Paul Combs, a rice farmer from southeast Missouri. Cuba can be an important market for farmers like Combs, who already depend on exporting their products.
“We’re excited about normalized relations with Cuba,” Combs said. “Until 1963, Cuba was the biggest market for U.S. rice.”