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NDTO News Article

ExporTech Program Assists Healthy Oilseeds, LLC in Global Expansion

North Dakota companies pursuing global markets are often challenged to find a starting point and a strategy to successfully export. These companies greatly benefit from outside expertise and instruction on how to find international opportunities that are right for them. Such challenges and solutions are approached in the upcoming ExporTech program.

ExporTech is a national export training program taking place in North Dakota with collaboration from the North Dakota Trade Office, U.S. Commercial Service, and Impact North Dakota (formerly Dakota MEP). ExporTech provides customized training for companies over the course of 3 sessions, spaced one month apart.  The sessions are designed for up to 8 non-competing small and mid-sized companies that are either new to exporting or have done some exporting but have not fully exploited global opportunities. The goal of the program is to create a unique international growth plan for each company. Companies accomplish this through detailed guidance, individual coaching, and research.

Roger Gussiaas, owner of the highly successful oilseed and grain exporting company Healthy Oilseeds in Carrington, ND, took part in the program in 2009. He took a few moments out of his hectic schedule to answer some questions on his experience with ExporTech.

What made you decide to participate in ExporTech?

We just wanted to learn more from others about doing business internationally. We wanted to get more focused on how to expand this business. It was a very, very good experience. I was able to set goals, and learn a lot from the people there. It was an excellent program.

Back in 2009, for which products were you looking for markets?

We were shipping raw flaxseed at the time, bagged and bulked. Things have changed quite a bit since then – now we have over 50 products. In fact this last Monday we shipped roasted flax seed to Korea and flaxseed oil to Japan. We’re very busy crushing flaxseed oil 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How was the experience of having an exporting coach?

We had Sharon May as our coach, and we talked to her quite a bit. We still talk to her quite a bit. There are plenty of times we have problems and she’s a wonderful resource.

Did you discover any new markets as a result of participating in the program?

We started doing business in Poland. We’ve done a lot of business in Poland since then.

How was attending the program with your fellow North Dakota exporters?

Listening to the other people that were there, you come back with a different feeling. Sometimes you can have a certain problem and feel frustrated, but then everybody’s gone through that problem. Someone has always had that same issue, and they can help you with that and say, well this is how I handled it.

What do you think makes the ExporTech program valuable?

One of the biggest things is that you can sit in your office and you can make phone calls and look on the internet, but when you attend the program and listen to the speakers, it brings so much enthusiasm and you look at things in a different way. That’s invaluable, that’s so helpful, and you can’t put a price tag on that.

ExporTech is currently open for registration for the 2015-2016 session dates of October 27, December 8, and January 19. For more information or to sign up for ExporTech, please contact Sharon May at To learn more about how ExporTech can benefit your company, click here.