NHLA Lumber Grading Short Course | Missouri

June 10-14, 2019

The Missouri Department of Agriculture hosted a five-day lumber grading short course in conjunction with the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) June 10-14, 2019. The course was held in Fayette, Missouri at the Keller Building and Missouri-Pacific Lumber Company, which is a NHLA-certified sawmill. Of the 17 students that participated in the short course, 16 graduated with a certificate from NHLA. At the end of the five-day training, students were able to successfully grade hardwood lumber as well as be empowered to grow themselves and their businesses, increase market opportunities for their businesses and establish a more efficient production line in their workplaces.

Students refreshing their minds on how to calculate fractions and determine the appropriate hardwood lumber grade per NHLA’s grading rules

MDA’s graduating class of the first annual NHLA Lumber Grading Short Course in Missouri

Missouri’s Booth Sponsorship in the American Food Pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show 2019 | Chicago, IL

May 18-21, 2019

The Missouri Department of Agriculture provided a partial booth sponsorship to DogMaster Distillery and Missouri Ridge Distillery in the American Food Pavilion at the National Restaurant Association Show 2019 in Chicago May 18-21, 2019. The tradeshow is the largest foodservice marketplace in the Western Hemisphere, boasting over 60,000 food service professionals including 4,000 international representatives looking to capitalize on the latest food trends, new distributors and food enthusiasts. The North American State Departments of Agriculture launched the American Food Fair pavilion at the NRA show to support U.S. food and beverage industry.

DogMaster Distillery and Missouri Ridge Distillery exhibited in the pavilion and also participated in the Food Export Beer, Wine and Spirits Buyers’ Mission, where they were scheduled one-on-one meetings with verified buyers interested in their products. Preliminary results indicated participants met with over 500 potential buyers and project over $55,500 in international sales over the next year.

In addition to the two distilleries, Missouri Grown also exhibited at a booth showcasing 12 Missouri Grown members and displaying their products and marketing materials. Throughout the show, MDA staff collected over 60 leads for the Missouri Grown companies.

Greg Pope, master distiller of Missouri Ridge Distillery talks about his spirits while also showing his segment on the Discovery Channel Moonshiners: Whiskey Business

Greg Pope, master distiller of Missouri Ridge Distillery talks about his spirits while also showing his segment on the Discovery Channel Moonshiners: Whiskey Business.

Missouri Grown booth showcasing 12 Missouri Grown companies

Missouri Grown booth showcasing 12 Missouri Grown companies.

Van Hawxby, owner of DogMaster Distillery discussing their spirits to potential distributors and supporters

Van Hawxby, owner of DogMaster Distillery discussing their spirits to potential distributors and supporters.

Danish Agriculture Tour | Missouri

May 2, 2019

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) welcomed the 2019 Danish Ag Study group to Missouri, selected by the Danish Agriculture Food Council, on May 2, 2019. To give a bit of background: members of the Danish Agriculture Food Council represent more than 186,000 people who work in Denmark’s 22.5 billion dollar agriculture industry. The group was comprised of 20 Danish agriculturalists, 16 of whom were young farmers, along with the Chairman of the Danish Agriculture Food Council and other council members.

MDA organized tours for the group to provide educational opportunities and an introduction to Missouri’s diverse agriculture industry. The tours began on May 2, with a visit to Scheer Dairy Farm, located in New Haven. The Scheers have milked cows for more than 100 years located on the same land they purchased back in 1897. Today, Scheer Dairy Farm is a progressive dairy operation using robotics to enhance efficiency and production. The Scheers milk purebred Holstein cows and recently introduced Jersey cows to the herd. The delegation had many questions about the robotics, genetics and technology behind the operation. The tour concluded with a visit to the heifer barn, which was a new asset to the dairy.

Following the visit to Scheer Dairy Farm, the group traveled to Auxvasse to tour Brinker Hog Farm, a farrow-to-wean operation owned and operated by the Brinker family. The family also grows approximately 4,200 acres of crops to supplement the operation. The group saw the technology and equipment used for production in motion, and received a first-hand look the hog operation.

The third and final stop of the tour was Moreland Farms, a former dairy operation turned row-crop and agritourism destination in Harrisonville. The Morelands are a multi-generation family of farmers raising 2,5000 acres of corn and soybeans, as well as cereal rye used as a cover crop. The Morelands also manage Red Barn Ranch, a pumpkin patch and agritourism destination to provide urban city dwellers with an educational introduction to day-today rural life on a working Missouri ag operation.

We would like to thank the farmers that donated their time and shared their expertise, insights and experience with the delegation at each stop. These farming families are truly the foundation of what makes these educational trips a robust cross-cultural learning experience.

A glimpse of the resting stalls at Scheer Dairy Farm.

Scheer Dairy farm encompasses cutting edge technology by incorporating robotic dairy equipment.

Rick Scheer explaining his logic behind the selection of their herd genetics.

Missouri Agriculture Trade Mission to Vietnam | Ho Chi Minh City & Hanoi, Vietnam

March 3-9, 2019

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) led a Missouri Agriculture Trade Mission to Vietnam March 3-9, 2019. To kick off the mission, USDA-FAS Ho Chi Minh City provided an in-country market briefing for the delegation on March 4th. For the remainder of the mission, the delegation was divided into two separate groups to attend meetings and tours.

The forestry delegation – Missouri Forest Products Association, Rustic Wood Products and Missouri-Pacific Lumber Company – visited 18 furniture and flooring manufacturers around the Ho Chi Minh City area as well as attended the VIFA Wood Expo to walk the show and have the chance to introduce themselves to 360 exhibitors. The Missouri companies primarily marketed walnut, white oak, red oak and yellow poplar hardwood lumber.

The food delegation –Pacific Supplies, Co. and US International Foods – met with 17 food-related companies in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. They focused on marketing food ingredients and food products.

The Missouri delegates were very pleased with the mission and their potential success in Vietnam. Surveys collected at the end of the mission indicate an aggregate total of over $98,000 in actual sales and $625,000 in expected sales within the next year.

Trade delegates kick off the mission with an in-market briefing by USDA FAS – Ho Chi Minh City.

Forestry delegation visits a furniture manufacturer in Vietnam.

Food delegation visits a food company in Vietnam.

Taiwan Buyers' Mission for Black Walnuts & Pecans | Missouri

October 21-23, 2018

Image of Taiwanese buyer on a company tour

Taiwanese company visiting a Missouri nut grower’s farm
with Taiwan Office Director Hank Ma

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) hosted a trading and market development company from Taiwan October 21-23, 2018. MDA staff and Missouri’s Taiwan Office organized meetings with Missouri nut growers. The company is interested in purchasing Missouri pecans, pecan products, black walnuts and black walnut products. The Taiwanese company is focused on marketing healthy food options to their customers.

Surveys collected at the end of the mission indicated the Taiwanese trading company intends to purchase over $140,000 worth of Missouri pecans, pecan products, black walnuts and black walnut products within the next year. Of that total, $40,000 was in actual sales made during the meetings. MDA staff will continue to follow up with the buyers and Missouri suppliers over the next year to offer any additional export assistance.

Vietnam Buyers’ Mission for Value-Added Forest Products | Missouri

October 15-19, 2018

Image of Taiwan Office Director Hank Ma and Missouri Forest Products Association Executive Director Brian Brookshire with the Vietnam delegation

Taiwan Office Director Hank Ma and Missouri Forest Products
Association Executive Director Brian Brookshire with
the Vietnam delegation

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA), with support from the Missouri Forest Products Association, hosted a Vietnam Forestry Buyers’ Mission to Missouri October 14-19, 2018. MDA staff and Missouri’s Taiwan Office recruited three Vietnamese companies representing Vietnam’s Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA) of Ho Chi Minh City to participate in the mission. The delegation consisted of furniture manufacturers and wood importers. The buyers were interested in Missouri companies supplying red oak, white oak, walnut, ash, hickory, hard maple, soft maple, cherry and pine lumber.

Meetings and tours were arranged at sawmills and lumber concentration yards statewide. The delegation visited eight sawmills and lumber concentration yards in Missouri. This mission was of particular significance because Missouri is now the first state to host HAWA members for a buyers’ mission.

Preliminary reports indicate over $170,000 in actual sales have occurred as a direct result of the mission.

Additionally, MDA anticipates a strong presence of forestry companies on the trade mission to Vietnam in March 2019 because of their interest in visiting the factories of the buyers’ who attended this mission.

Panama & Ecuador Buyers’ Mission for Livestock and Genetics | Missouri

October 1-5, 2018

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) hosted eight international cattle buyers to tour Missouri and Illinois farms October 1-5, 2018, with sponsorship from the U.S. Livestock Genetic Export Inc.

MDA and IDA recruited two producers from Ecuador and six producers from Panama. The buyers were interested in Beefmaster, Angus, Brangus and Hereford genetics. The purpose of the mission was to promote Missouri and Illinois cattle genetics, connect international buyers with Missouri and Illinois cattle producers, open new markets for Missouri and Illinois producers, reduce trade barriers and provide educational opportunities.

As the buyers traveled across the Show-Me State, they visited three Angus farms, three Beefmaster farms and a Brangus ranch. Each of the farms did an outstanding job showcasing their herd genetics. The opportunity to network face-to-face developed potential new buyer connections and sales opportunities. MDA and IDA are proud to have farm families that raise superior genetics and appreciate the willingness to open their farms up to share their farms and ranches with others.

MDA and IDA staff continue to asssist in the facilitation of trade logistics between the international buyers and producers. Surveys collected after the event anticipate a projected $148,076 in sales over the next year. This includes the total export of semen, heifers and bulls to Panama and Ecuador from Missouri and Illinois farms.

International buyers visiting with a Missouri producer
 

International buyers take a tour of a producer’s cattle farm
 

International buyers stop by the field to view a Missouri producer’s cattle herd

Midwest Buyers’ Mission | Kansas City, Missouri

July 30, 2018

The Midwest Buyers' Mission, facilitated by Food Export-Midwest, made a stop in Kansas City, Missouri this year from July 29-30. Food Export-Midwest and the Missouri Department of Agriculture worked together to host buyers from 17 countries including Antigua, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, Panama, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The buyers were interested in a variety of products ranging from bakery products to dairy, meat and pet food products. Of the 24 Midwest suppliers, nine of them were from Missouri.

In-Market Representatives from Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, the Middle East, Nicaragua and Panama also attended, and suppliers had the chance to ask questions about specific markets. Food Export Helpline Counselor Dennis Lynch and Export Advisor Gary Winget attended and offered advice to suppliers as well. These meetings provided an opportunity for Missouri suppliers to interact with verified buyers to discuss the prospect of future trade opportunities. In response to this event, Missouri companies gained international trade contacts and opportunities through one-on-one meetings with the buyers. Initial surveys after the event reported $794,000 in actual sales and $4,900,000 expected sales within the next year. Buyers' Missions are the most cost-efficient way for Missouri suppliers to meet with international buyers because they do not have to travel outside of the state. This also provides our international buyers the unique opportunity to network and experience first-hand, the diverse range of value added food and beverage companies that represent the Show-Me State.

Missouri suppliers and international buyers attend one-on-one meetings

A company poses for a photo at their booth prior to meeting with international buyers from all over the world

International attendees on a tour of various Kansas City, Missouri businesses

Mexico Buyers’ Mission for Livestock & Genetics | Missouri

July 23-27, 2018

Due to the success of the May Mexico Buyers’ Mission, the Department hosted a second Mexico Buyers’ Mission Showcasing Missouri and Illinois Cattle Genetics in July. The mission focus was to promote Missouri and Illinois cattle genetics, build more relationships with Mexico producers and expand market potential for Missouri and Illinois producers. The buyers were interested in Beefmaster, Red Angus, Hereford, Charolaise and Brangus genetics. Missouri and Illinois staff worked together to plan farm visits in each state to met the criteria of Mexican buyers.

The mission kicked off on July 24 with three Missouri stops in Lockwood, Drexel and Lone Jack. The following day, the group drove east with three more stops across the central region of the state, gaining mileage and building valuable connections. Missouri producers opened their farms to show the buyers their way of life and resented an inside look at their best production practices. By the middle of the week, the group hit the road for “the Prairie State” to visit with various Illinois producers in Griggsville, Manchester and Pleasant Plains. Bruce Cluver, Vice President of Ag World International, accompanied the group and provided information regarding the exporting process from the United States to Mexico. As a result of the mission, Missouri live cattle and genetics sales totaled $12,050, and the success of the mission built valuable relationships at each and every stop along the way. Our team looks forward to supporting Missouri producers with more opportunities for building working relationships with countries like Mexico in the future.

Mexico buyers listen to Missouri producers explain their herd genetics

A Missouri producer's Beefmaster calf
 

A Missouri producer educates Mexico buyers about EPD’s (expected progeny differences)

Food Taipei | Taipei, Taiwan

June 27-30, 2018

The 28th Taipei International Food Show (FOOD TAIPEI) took place in Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center from June 27-30 this year. The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) organized the show that hosted buyers from more than 100 different countries. The MDA booth was just one of 2,197 booths during the show and more than eighty-four percent of the visitors were from Asia and the Middle East. The exhibitors showed a variety of products including prepared and canned foods, baking snacks and ingredients, ice cream, condiments, fresh and preserved fruits and vegetables, frozen prepared foods and more.

There were four Missouri companies that participated. Each of these companies provided product samples and/or marketing materials for the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s International & Domestic Marketing program to display at the sponsored booth. Our Taiwan Office Director Hank Ma and Office Manager Phoebe Chen dedicated their time to setting up the space to represent our Missouri companies in Taiwan.

Through this event, Missouri companies received international exposure to new trade opportunities through their networking efforts. At the conclusion of the show, Missouri companies received trade leads from the countries of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.A.E. Staff continue to assist the Missouri companies by providing each of them with copies of buyer profiles from the prospective international buyers.

Taiwan Office Manager Phoebe Chen visits with event attendees at the Department’s booth

Taiwan Office Manager Phoebe Chen visits with attendees
 

Taiwan Office Manager Phoebe Chen works at the Department’s booth

Mexico Buyers’ Mission for Livestock and Genetics | Missouri

May 21-25, 2018

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) collaborated with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to host nine cattle producers from Mexico to promote Missouri and Illinois cattle genetics. The mission kicked off on May 21 and ended on May 25.

The buyers’ primary interests included finding new genetics to implement into their herds and identifying reproductive management tools to enhance their operations. Genetics of interest included Red Angus, Black Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Brangus and Beefmaster. MDA staff worked with David Hobbs, Journal Manager of American–International Charolais Association, to help organize farm stops in Missouri.

The mission kicked off in Springfield, Missouri with tours of five Missouri cattle operations. The delegation also toured three cattle operations and a semen collection facility in Illinois. On the last morning of the mission, the vice president of an export logistics company presented information on the exportation of live breeding cattle, semen and embryos. Preliminary results indicated a total of $13,100 in actual sales of live cattle and semen as a result of the mission.

Delegation practicing biosecurity by wearing protective booties while learning about reproductive management

A Missouri Beefmaster producer shows Mexico buyers his bull calves

Cows and calves from a Missouri Charolais farm looking at the delegation

Tasty Expo | Kansas City, Missouri

May 18-22, 2018

The Missouri Department of Agriculture sponsored 10 food and beverage companies at the Tasty Expo in Kansas City, Missouri. The Tasty Expo is the largest food and beverage experience in the Midwest, welcoming more than 20,000+ foodies. Visitors to the Tasty Expo sampled Missouri Grown products, heard each company’s unique story and watched their new favorite products incorporated directly into recipes.

These companies were among more than 200 vendors from across the country that had a chance to visit with many distributors and wholesale buyers. With a dual focus of business-to-business interaction and exposure to the public, the Tasty Expo created a unique experience for Missouri companies to share what sets them apart.

Toby Freeland, L’École Culinaire Program Director, created special recipes to feature the Missouri Grown members' products during two cooking demonstrations on stage.

Companies in attendance included:

  1. Baetje Farms
  2. Circle B Ranch
  3. Daniel’s Bar-B-Q Sauce
  4. Edgewood Creamery Cheese
  5. Ellbee’s Gourmet Garlic Seasonings
  6. Flavor Market
  7. Freddie Lee’s American Gourmet Sauce
  8. Hemme Brothers Creamery
  9. Homegrown and Happy
  10. Start Right Foods

The Start Right team prepares waffle samples for Tasty Expo attendees

L’Ecole Culinaire Chef Toby Freeland adds toppings to gluten free pizza at the cooking demonstration stage

Freddie Lee’s American Gourmet Sauces prepare their company booth for visitors on opening day

Vietnam Buyers’ Mission | Missouri

May 7-11, 2018

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA), with sponsorship and support from the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, and Missouri Rice Council, hosted a Vietnam Buyers’ Mission to Missouri May 7-11, 2018. The eight Vietnamese companies, with a total of 13 business representatives, which participated in the mission were looking to purchase food ingredients/additives, feed ingredients/additives, dairy ingredients, corn, soybeans, soybean meal, wheat, rice, DDGS, nuts, beef, pork and poultry from Missouri suppliers. Meetings and tours were primarily arranged in Kansas City, Missouri May 7-8 and St. Louis, Missouri May 9-11. However, MDA also incorporated stops in all other regions of the state to showcase Missouri’s diverse agriculture systems.

The delegation was divided into three tour groups to allow buyers to connect with more Missouri suppliers and increase the educational value added to the mission. Surveys collected at the end of the mission indicated over $6 million in actual sales and projected sales of over $45 million within the next year. The buyers plan to purchase pork, beef, soybeans, soybean meal, corn, wheat, DDGS, black walnuts, pecans and food ingredients/additives. MDA staff will continue to follow up with buyers and Missouri suppliers over the next year and offer export assistance as needed. The Vietnamese buyers and Missouri suppliers also expressed interest in having a Missouri delegation travel to Vietnam to continue building relationships and business prospects, and the department is looking to coordinate a trip in February or March 2019.

The delegation visits a Missouri beef processing facility and views different cuts of aged beef

The delegation tours a Missouri nut growers’ processing facility
 

The delegation views a grain elevator on the tour of an eastern Missouri grain facility

Dubai International Wood & Wood Machinery Show | Dubai, United Arab Emirates

March 12-14, 2018

Continuing on from the Indiawood trade show, the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Forestry Marketing Specialist Kayla Otto traveled to the Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show in the United Arab Emirates as a representative for the Hardwood States Export Group (HSEG) for the purpose of assisting U.S. hardwood companies with accessing the growing global markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The UAE and surrounding countries have become important users of American hardwoods, and this show is an effective forum to meet current and potential buyers from the MENA region.

As the representatives for HSEG, Wayne Bender and Kayla Otto participated in the trade show to meet new and existing furniture, millwork and veneer manufacturers along with hardwood agents/importers from the MENA region. The Dubai World Trade Center hosted the show and attracted over 300 exhibitors from 108 countries. Bender and Otto collected 38 quality trade leads to share with HSEG members. These numbers reflect last year's statistics, but contacts significantly increased in the MENA region. This is especially true for Pakistan, which is one of the countries that has a strong hardwood lumber market that is making a slow but promising increase in demand. The AHEC pavilion hosted 15 U.S. companies as well as the HSEG booth. This show provided an excellent platform for introducing American temperate hardwoods to current and potential manufacturers from the MENA region.

International market conditions for American hardwoods in the MENA region significantly weakened in 2016 but saw a strong increase in 2017. This is due partly to the cyclical nature of the construction sector, fiscal tightening in the lower oil-price environment and strengthening of the U.S. dollar. However, Bender and Otto saw an increase in leads obtained for hardwood lumber (ash, white oak, red oak and walnut predominately) and many requests for southern yellow pine and white pine for Pakistan. Other than Indian buyers, there was not a strong interest in logs.

Forestry Marketing Specialist Kayla Otto visits with HSEG Member Wayne Bender

Forestry Marketing Specialist Kayla Otto visits with attendees at the trade show

Indiawood | Bangalore, India

March 8-12, 2018

Forestry Marketing Specialist Kayla Otto waits for attendees to
stop by the booth

The Missouri and Georgia Department's of Agriculture represented the Hardwood States Export Group (HSEG), an organization charged with assisting U.S. hardwood companies in accessing the growing global markets in India, at the Indiawood trade show in Bangladore, India. This year there were seven U.S. hardwood companies exhibiting at the show with HSEG in the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) pavilion. The HSEG attendees, Dru Preston (Georgia) and Kayla Otto (Missouri), met with approximately 20 hardwood importers from various Indian cities at Indiawood 2018. Most of these buyers were furniture, flooring and plywood manufacturers with various agents/importers of hardwood lumber, veneer and logs from India, Oman, Vietnam and Belgium.

The Bangalore International Exhibition Centre opened its doors to more than 850 exhibitors from 40 countries. Preston and Otto, representing 14 hardwood producing states, participated in the trade show to meet new and existing furniture, millwork and veneer manufacturers along with hardwood agents/importers from India and other countries. The AHEC pavilion was an excellent platform to introduce American temperate hardwoods to current and potential manufacturers from India.

Lumber importers made up the majority of leads with veneer and log consumers in the remaining balance of inquiries. Most of the buyers were furniture and veneer manufacturers looking to purchase lumber to meet the demand for office and institutional furniture in the booming retail, real estate, hospitality and entertainment industries in India. The buyers were primarily interested in purchasing the following U.S. hardwood species: walnut, white ash, white oak, red oak, hard maple, soft maple, cherry and tulipwood.