Top agricultural representatives of 20 countries on six continents, including the European Union, are in Minnesota this week to learn more about the state’s ag industry.  It’s organized by U-S-D-A, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture hosts a welcome event this morning (9am) at the State Capitol.  Commissioner Thom Petersen:

“These are some real high-level people that work on agricultural issues, whether it’s China or India, South American countries, European countries.”

Peterson says the group will spend the first couple days in the Twin Cities meeting with businesses, then visit farms in Faribault, ethanol plants in Benson, and see the sugarbeet harvest in the Red River Valley.  Minnesota’s ag exports at over seven billion dollars annually are the fourth-highest among U-S states.  Petersen says Minnesota is an “agricultural powerhouse” with companies like Cargill, General Mills and American Crystal Sugar.