The role that Queensland's wool industry could continue to play in overseas trade was highlighted on the weekend when the Japanese Consul-General to Queensland, Kazunari Tanaka, and consul Daisuke Miyake visited the Winton Show.
The pair attended along with state agriculture minister Mark Furner, who said it had been great to bring Japan's representatives to their first regional agricultural show soon after his own trade mission to Japan and Korea, promoting opportunities for Queensland produce.
They experienced firsthand the passion and commitment of Queensland growers, especially Winton wool producer Jodie Axford, who has stewarded in the show's wool pavilion for more than 15 years.
Read more: Growing better Winton wool
She was able to illustrate the importance of nutrition with a wool staple that showed the break in the season through different crimps.
"It was like a calendar - it showed the difference perfectly," she said.
"I tried to explain how wool is judged, and talked about how weight is important.
I love talking sheep and wool with people. Every positive experience you put in front of people about sheep can't be bad
Mr Furner said the Consul-General had the opportunity to sash a champion ewe in the sheep competition as well as one of the award winners in the led steer and heifer competitions.
"Japan is a significant trading partner, with millions of dollars' worth of fresh Queensland produce exported to Japan each year.
"Visits like this enhance and spread Queensland's growing global reputation for producing top-quality, clean green produce."
Before the Winton visit, the Japanese representatives met horticulture industry representatives in Bowen, including at the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association dinner on Friday night.
New Zealand Consul-General for NSW and Queensland Bill Dobbie also attended.
The Bowen region is currently hosting nine Japanese agricultural graduates, the first to spend time in Australia under an exchange program led by the Japanese Agricultural Exchange Council, which has been sending graduates to the US and Europe for some 60 years.