Come to the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo this September and you may hear Russian, Romanian, Turkish, Spanish and Portuguese being spoken as business deals are being made. It’s the site of the 2011 Big Iron Farm Show which draws visitors from six continents to North Dakota every year.
Big Iron was designed to promote the global sale of North Dakota agricultural equipment. This year more than 100 guests are expected to attend the International Visitors Program September 12-15. Those buyers will be traveling from countries such as Australia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, South Africa, Angola, Uruguay, Ghana, Canada, Russia and Malawi.
Executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office, Dean Gorder, says there is a good reason buyers come from around the globe to do business here. “North Dakota, and Fargo in particular, have a wide ranging offering of seed, equipment, expertise, education and technology so it can really function as a one stop shop for someone who is coming from halfway around the world.“
The International Visitors Program is a joint effort put on by the North Dakota Trade Office and the U.S. Commercial Service. During their week visiting North Dakota, guests will attend equipment demonstrations including an equipment parade, tour NDSU’s animal research center, as well as local farms. While on site at the fairgrounds, the NDTO manages the International Visitors Pavilion where international visitors can have private meetings with local companies to conduct business, have internet access and find food and refreshments.
The International Visitors Program started four years ago after a successful trade mission to eastern Europe and Asia. Since that time business and relations between North Dakota and that region has grown. “One of the NDTO’s responsibilities is to build a network of relationships. The focus of bringing these visitors is not just to generate numbers of visitors but numbers of buyers. We want to bring in people who are serious about doing business here; there is a significant investment in finding qualified buyers to attend Big Iron.” Gorder said.
For more information about the Big Iron International Visitors Program, visit www.ndto.com or call the North Dakota Trade Office at (701) 231-1150.