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Published June 20, 2012, 07:15 AM

European group tours North Dakota Mill

A group of Spanish and Italian mill owners toured the North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks Tuesday to gain a better understanding of the U.S. wheat production.

By: TJ Jerke, Grand Forks Herald

A group of Spanish and Italian mill owners toured the North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks Tuesday to gain a better understanding of the U.S. wheat production.

Spain and Italy are Europe’s leading importers of American wheat.

The six CEOs and general managers passed through the mill on their way to Duluth as part of a week-long tour with U.S. Wheat Associates that began Sunday in Fargo,

“It’s great to get first hand information on crops and work to better expand our knowledge,” said Goris van Lit, a regional director for the wheat marketing association based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Van Lit has brought a European delegation to the U.S. at least once per year since 1985.

On Monday, the delegation met with the North Dakota Wheat Commission and is touring the Duluth Seaway today. A tour of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange is planned for Thursday followed by a visit to mills in Ohio on Friday. The group will depart for Europe on Saturday.

Vance Taylor, president and general manager of North Dakota Mill, welcomed the group Tuesday morning. Taylor offered background of the only state-owned mill in the country and largest wheat-flour producing mill in the U.S.

“It’s always interesting to have them back and have them here from other countries,” Taylor said.

He mentioned the large number of machinery throughout the mill that were built by Italian and Swiss manufacturers.

The European delegation mostly focused on common wheat, but also examined durum production. After the tour, U.S. Wheat Associates will create a write up about the U.S.-European Union wheat trade.

Van Lit said Europe receives a great deal of wheat from the U.S. because of lower quality wheat and fewer wheat producers. “The U.S. and Canada have unique wheat that is appreciated and in demand in Europe.”


Reach Jerke at (701) 787-6736; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1736; or send email to tjerke@gfherald.com.

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