North Dakota hosted a large delegation of international guests who attended the 2010 Big Iron Farm Show and many other events designed to promote exports of North Dakota agricultural equipment and services.
About 100 buyers of farm and ranch equipment and livestock attended the Big Iron Farm Show’s International Visitors Program Sept. 13-17. The visitors traveled from more than 10 countries including Russia, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine, Canada, Uruguay and South Africa to participate in the program.
The International Visitors Program is a great way of leveraging the draw of the Big Iron Farm Show to build on the growing global demand for North Dakota’s agricultural products,” Gov. John Hoeven said. “This program is one of many strategies we have developed to promote our quality products in high-demand markets around the world.”
North Dakota’s exports of agricultural commodities have increased from $1.7 billion in 2005 to $3.2 billion last year – an 88 percent increase, according to USDA statistics. At the same time, the state’s exports of merchandise have grown in value from $1.2 billion to $2.1 billion – an 84 percent increase, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports.
The Big Iron International Visitors Program is coordinated by the North Dakota Trade Office and the U.S. Commercial Service. During their week-long stay, international guests will attend farm and ranch tours, educational seminars, equipment demonstrations and other events designed to connect buyers from around the world with North Dakota’s farm and ranch equipment manufacturers and dealers. At Big Iron, the Trade Office manages the International Visitors Pavilion where guests can meet with local company reps in private meeting rooms, attend educational seminars, enjoy meals and refreshments and access the Internet to facilitate their business.
“The program has helped us expand our international dealership network and increased our sales by getting buyers in front of our equipment,” said Laurens Robinson, director of international sales for Jamestown, N.D.,-based Haybuster agricultural equipment.
The program’s guests included Kazakhstan Agriculture Minister Akylbek Kurishbayev and Petr Bochazov who assisted New York-based New Century Holdings in developing more than 1 million acres of farming operations in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia.
“We continue to build and improve on the program because it has proven effective in developing lasting business relationships with key buyers from around the world,” Trade Office Executive Director Dean Gorder said. “We look forward to hosting a large delegation again this year and to expanding our companies’ global business opportunities.
“We’ve had hundreds of equipment buyers come here because they want to become better equipped and more knowledgeable about large-scale farming and ranching,” Gorder said. “This program enables us to show the world North Dakota’s agricultural expertise and it gets our equipment manufacturers and dealers in front of serious buyers.”
The Trade Office began hosting international buyers during Big Iron in 2007, following a trade mission that brought several leaders of North Dakota agriculture equipment companies to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia.
“The idea was to bring potential customers to North Dakota where they can see first-hand why we lead the nation in the production of so many crops and how our equipment manufacturers and dealers help make that happen,” 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.