Accompanying Walz on his journey had been two farmers from Crookston, Minnesota: Tim Dufault, a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotional Council, and Eric Samuelson, president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
“It was definitely an honor,” mentioned Dufault. “It was way different than a regular farm meeting. I felt like I was a part of something here, moving Minnesota ahead.”
Crookston, Minn., farmer Tim DuFault, proven June 22, 2021, making ready his bins for an early harvest, thinks this 12 months’s wheat crop could also be comparable to the crops of drought-plagued 1988-89. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
Walz led the trade mission to the U.Okay. and Finland Nov. 13-19. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the targets of the mission had been to enhance state exports, promote the state as a vacation spot for overseas funding, develop enterprise alternatives and strengthen current ties within the international locations.
According to a media launch from the governor’s workplace, the trade mission’s targets had been met.
“We are returning home from a productive trade mission where we shared our message with our partners in Europe: Minnesota is an outstanding place to do business and increase trade,” Walz mentioned within the launch.
Walz introduced representatives, like Dufault and Samuelson, from companies and organizations across the state within the areas of medical expertise, meals and agriculture, environmental expertise and training. He was additionally joined by First woman Gwen Walz, DEED Commissioner Steve Grove and Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen.
“This mission provided Minnesota’s leading food and agriculture companies the opportunity to showcase our high-quality exports and why they’re a good investment,” Petersen mentioned within the media launch. “We look forward to continuing to strengthen our trade relationships with the U.K. and Finland.”
One of the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotional Council’s targets is to promote the trade of wheat, and when the board was offered with the chance for a member to accompany the governor on a trade mission, it utilized to ship a member on the journey.
Dufault mentioned that Brexit has created new trade alternatives for the U.S. and U.Okay., particularly in agriculture. The U.Okay. grows wheat, however in accordance to Dufault it tends to be feed high quality wheat, reasonably than milling high quality wheat. Most of the county’s mill wheat is imported. Before Brexit, the U.Okay. primarily imported wheat from international locations within the European Union, in addition to Canada. Now that the nation has left the EU, there are alternatives to broaden trade exterior of EU international locations.
In Finland, the wheat market is tougher to crack, Dufault mentioned, however the different teams on the journey, particularly environmental expertise, had been ready to have productive conversations within the nation.
The journey consisted of a sequence of conferences with authorities officers and stops at companies and organizations within the U.Okay and Finland. Dufault mentioned the agriculture group met with the state officers from workplaces just like the Department for Transport and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and visited locations like grocery shops within the international locations to observe similarities and variations.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz solutions media questions following a tour of drought situations in fields north of Crookston, Minnesota, on Thursday, July 22, 2021. (Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald)Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
One of the conferences was with Minister for Trade Policy Penny Mordaunt, who helps oversee trade insurance policies within the U.Okay. Dufault says the assembly was a precious alternative to discuss points like tariffs and different trade boundaries with somebody who might assist change the insurance policies.
“It’s always good for policy makers to hear from the actual person that’s affected. They had a room full of ag people that are affected by some of these trade problems and I think it did good,” Dufault mentioned.
While Dufault didn’t signal any contracts to promote wheat whereas on the trade mission, he noticed representatives on the journey making progress. He mentioned one of many enterprise homeowners on the journey was ready to discover a distributor for his enterprise, and that representatives from universities had been happy with progress made in direction of scholarship and alternate applications during the journey. Dufault mentioned Petersen, who has been on a number of trade missions with the governor, reassured him that the journey would assist progress for trade with the U.Okay. and Finland.
“You don’t always know if you’re moving the needle, but eventually some good things will come and that is why governors continue to do this over the years,” mentioned Dufault.