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NDTO Member Profile: SK Food International

SK Food International began as a family company in 1990 after founders David and Beverly Skyberg saw a niche opportunity to market non-GMO, identity-preserved, organic food ingredients. David Skyberg drew on his agribusiness background to create a family business, believing that organic commodities would be an important growth sector within the food industry. Unlike many food ingredient companies, SK Food International was established first and foremost as an exporter.

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What is a Specialty Crop?

The term “specialty crop” can be confusing, conjuring up images of organic mushrooms and small plots of herbs. While these two items are included within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s definition of a specialty crop, so are other rather common crops, like potatoes. The USDA has devoted over $62 million this year to enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops. So what are they?

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Upcoming Trade Shows and STEP-eligible Activities

As the holiday season approaches, don’t forget about the numerous opportunities to promote your products globally. Also, small business owners, don’t miss the chance to have your company approved to receive funding for international sales activities. The North Dakota Trade Office has plenty of funds left in its State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which goes through September 29, 2017. Eligible small business concerns may receive expense reimbursement upon participation in one of these events, or a pre-approved sales trip.  Below is a list of the events taking place in the months ahead.

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Virtual Reality for the Exporter

As an exporter, you’re always looking for ways to build a personal connection to your international customer. Differentiating your product and overcoming communication barriers can at times prove difficult. This is where exporters could take advantage of the growing industry of virtual reality. No longer just a gaming platform, virtual reality (VR) is making its way into education, event planning, medicine and trade. North Dakota exporters have a variety of options if they’re inclined to begin using this new sales tool.

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NDTO Receives Specialty Crop Funds for Philippines Trade Mission in 2017

The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) has received funding from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, which administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The NDTO will use the funds to increase competitiveness and market opportunities for specialty crop companies in the Philippines. Specialty crops included in this program are peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas and potatoes. This is the third Specialty Crop Block Grant that the NDTO has received, with previous grants awarded in 2014 and 2015.

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NDTO Member Profile: Precision Equipment Manufacturing

Precision Equipment Manufacturing of Fargo is very excited about their newest product – a highly efficient portable heater that uses magnetic fields to generate heat. Originally designed as an industrial heater, they are now exploring many other uses for the “dry” heat in applications across the globe. The company’s latest product comes after a series of calculated progressions that have taken the business from manufacturing custom firetrucks to specialty trailer fabrication to flameless heating units. Founder Bob Nelson has led Precision Equipment Manufacturing through the evolution. Nelson has spent his 35 year-long career capitalizing on his ability to navigate the changing markets.

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Press Release: ND Trade Office Awarded Funds to Aid Small Business Exporters

The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) announced today that it has been awarded a $231,045 grant by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) through its State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to build on North Dakota’s success in expanding international exports. NDTO will use the funds to create STEP ND 2016, a program that will enable eligible North Dakota companies to receive monetary reimbursement for international business activities. This one-year program is now accepting applications for activities through September 29, 2017. This is the third STEP Grant that the NDTO has received, with previous STEP grants awarded in 2012 and 2015.

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Press Release: Delegates from India Visit North Dakota Soybean Facilities

Delegates from India arrived this week to take part in a reverse trade mission focusing on North Dakota soybeans. Twelve delegates from the South Asian country are currently participating in educational sessions, meetings with company representatives, and an evaluation comparing North Dakota and Indian soybeans. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring also joined the group to support the trade relations established earlier this year during North Dakota’s first India Trade Mission in February.

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Press Release: North Dakota Hosted Large African Delegation During 10th Annual Big Iron International Visitors Program

North Dakota hosted over 120 international visitors from more than 10 countries as part of the Big Iron International Visitors Program, the portion of the Big Iron Farm Show connecting international equipment buyers with North Dakota businesses. The International Visitors Program (IVP) ran Sept. 13-15 and was organized by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) with the cooperation of the U.S. Commercial Service. Since 2007, the NDTO’s Big Iron IVP has brought over 950 international guests to North Dakota.

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HERMES® 450 Soars During the North Dakota UAS Field Day

Elbit Systems of America, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd, along with its local partners, hosted an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) field day August 22 at the Hillsboro Regional Airport to highlight its recent HERMES® 450 flights over North Dakota. The event welcomed ND Commerce Commissioner, Al Anderson, who served as Master of Ceremonies. Also attending were U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

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