May 29, 2012
CHEYENNE - Wyoming agriculture producer Clint Jessen will be the first United States wheat producer to export organic proso millet and wheat to China.
Jessen, owner of Jessen Wheat Company in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., will host the partnering Chinese buyers delegation at his farm at 10:30 a.m., May 29, 2012 to make the announcement.
“We are very excited to have the Chinese delegation visiting Jessen Wheat Company,” said Jessen. “They will be here to inspect our organic farm, and at the end of the day we will be excited to be certified organic in China in addition to our current organic certifications in the U.S., Canada and Europe.”
Organic agriculture has moved from a specialty shop trend to a dinner table staple during the past 10 years, and Jessen has been riding the organic food wave since 2001, cresting this Tuesday with another Wyoming first. Since certifying his operation as “organic” a little more than 10 years ago, Jessen Wheat Company has seen a substantial increase in sales, and this pending announcement to export to the world’s most populated country is opening a fantastic window for Jessen Wheat Company’s future business potential.
“We feel this opportunity will open the door to be able to export our Wyoming organic grain to a country that has almost 1.4 billion people, and with China's disposable income on the rise, organic will become a great market opportunity,” said Jessen. “We feel that this will give our business a boost in the market place with international recognition as a high quality and reliable source for organic. This could also open up the market to other U.S. and Wyoming producers in the future.”
Jessen Wheat Company lists Kellogg’s and Safeway as buyers of its organic grain grown on Jessen’s 18,000-acre farm east of Cheyenne, Wyo.
“This is a significant achievement for Clint, his operation, Wyoming and the U.S.,” said Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Director Cindy Garretson-Weibel. “This is a great opportunity to showcase Wyoming agriculture products and shows Wyoming can compete in the international market.”
Jessen is a graduate of the Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Agricultural Leadership Council’s Wyoming Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program and credits that experience for helping him develop the networking skills and key contacts necessary for landing a deal this large.
“Being able to be a part of L.E.A.D. Class 10 gave me the confidence to be able to conduct international business,” said Jessen. “The networking skills and connections that were made through the class have helped further the success of my family and our farm. The lessons have proved to be priceless and there is something that I learned in the class that is used almost daily in our business.”
The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.