The value of Wisconsin agricultural product exports continues to grow at a double digit pace. Export numbers released by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection show a 25 percent value increase for the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013.
"We are excited to see that Wisconsin exported $935 million in agricultural products to 116 countries in the first quarter of 2014," said DATCP Secretary Ben Brancel. "First quarter numbers may only be a snapshot of what may lie ahead, but they demonstrate the opportunities Wisconsin businesses have found in the international marketplace. There is a growing demand for quality food products from Wisconsin."
Dairy products, including dairy derivatives, jumped 63 percent compared to the same period last year with a combined value of $140 million. Wisconsin ranked fourth among U.S. states in the export of dairy products.
Another product showing strong export growth in the first quarter of 2014 was bovine genetics. These exports were valued at $19 million, an 81 percent increase over the same time period in 2013. That now ranks Wisconsin number one among states in the export of bovine genetics.
Wisconsin also ranked first in the export of ginseng, sweet corn and mink fur skins for the first three months of the year and came in second for the export of cheese, whey and cranberries.
"There are still international markets to explore and business relationships to develop," Brancel added. "The potential for growing the value of the state's agricultural exports is there. Each dollar brought in through international sales will have a huge economic impact for Wisconsin."
One way to expand those export markets is by participating in events such as buyers missions and other services offered by the Wisconsin International Trade Team. For example, seats are available for Wisconsin food suppliers in two upcoming food buyers missions managed by the international trade team.
The Chinese Food Buyers Mission will take place Wednesday, June 4, in Madison. The Midwest Food Buyers Mission will take place July 23 in Milwaukee and will include buyers from Asia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and South America. Seats are available at both events, which include one-on-one meetings with buyers. Suppliers of dairy products, specialty foods, food additives and baking ingredients would be good fits for these events.