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Tracy Frank, Published February 16 2010

Trade trip bears fruit

North Dakota companies have found business opportunities in Mexico.

Lanny Faleide, president of Agri ImaGIS Technologies in Fargo, said a recent trade trip to Mexico was eye-opening and insightful.

“We found out that we weren’t taking the Mexico market seriously enough,” he said. “Seeing the infrastructure was very beneficial to future business development.”

Faleide said he expects to increase business dealings in Mexico.

Agri ImaGIS was one of eight North Dakota companies that participated in the trade trip to Mexico. Company representatives showcased their agricultural equipment at Mexico’s largest farm trade show, the three-day Agro Sinaloa Show in Culiacan, Mexico, the first week of February.

They also attended one-on-one business meetings with buyers and distributors, attended a business reception with owners and operators of Mexico’s large-scale production farms, and toured farms to learn more about Mexico’s equipment needs.

The business trip was developed by the North Dakota Trade Office and U.S. Commercial Service offices in Fargo and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Laurens Robinson, director of international business for Haybuster of Jamestown, said the trip was worthwhile and he expects to increase business dealings because of it.

“We got some business out of it, which is why we went,” he said.

Mexico is modernizing its agricultural production and is an important export market for North Dakota agriculture, said Sharon May, a market research specialist with the Trade Office and the trade mission’s lead organizer, in a news release.

“In North Dakota, they are finding the technology to make their large-scale farm operations more efficient,” she said.

Mexico is one of Haybuster’s top five markets, Robinson said. The country is North Dakota’s second-largest export market with merchandise exports to Mexico totaling more than $150 million last year, according to the North Dakota Trade Office.

All of the companies reported that they expect to finalize new sales as a result of their participation in the trip, Heather Ranck, an international trade specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service in Fargo, said in a news release.

Companies that participated in the trade mission were: Brandt Holdings and Agri ImaGIS of Fargo, Unity Seed of Casselton, Haybuster of Jamestown, Sund Manufacturing of Newburg, Summers Mfg. of Devils Lake, WCCO Belting of Wahpeton, and Convey-All of Hamilton.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526