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Kringstad Ironworks uses STEP in Tatarstan, Russia

Kringstad Ironworks is closing in on deals to sell more sugar beet pilers in Russia. Their latest trip was to the Republic of Tatarstan and was partially funded by the North Dakota Trade Office’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant, a reimbursement program currently open to North Dakota exporters. The reimbursement program assisted Kringstad Ironworks in traveling to meet potential Russian customers as well as learn more about the agricultural needs of the Volga region.

As farmers in Tatarstan, which is a gateway between European Russia and Siberia, seek to upgrade their sugar beet production and storage, they are looking to acquire American sugar beet equipment and processes. Bernie Kringstad, owner of Kringstad Ironworks, Inc., traveled to Russia this past summer to meet regional equipment distributors seeking sugar beet equipment. It’s a unique destination as Tatarstan is an autonomous region with its own government, taxes and foreign policy.

“Tatarstan is beautiful, their farming practices are more modern and they have very large farms,” said Kringstad. “They’re very eager to learn more about our way of farming, piling, and beet processing that we do here in the States.”

Kringstad Ironworks has sold into Russia previously and while Russian manufacturers have since attempted to replicate their equipment, they haven’t been able to get it right. Kringstad Ironworks prides itself on offering sugar beet equipment of a higher and more robust quality than their competitors’ equipment. However, shipping costs are their biggest barrier to export. A Kringstad Ironworks sugar beet piler can occupy up to 15 containers.

“This makes it quite a challenge, but they do need our product to advance in production, beet quality and in long term storage,” Kringstad said.

Kringstad also noted that the trip wouldn’t have been possible without the use of STEP funds, which reimbursed the company for a portion of the expenses incurred on the trip.

STEP is open to all North Dakota small businesses and NDTO encourages all companies planning a foreign market sales trip to apply. Eligible expenses for reimbursement include airfare, hotel, meals and trade show booths.

For additional information on the STEP grant, please visit NDTO’s website.

To learn more about Kringstad Ironworks, Inc., please visit their website at http://www.kringstadiron.com/.

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