FOUNTAIN CITY, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Wisconsin is ranked 13th in the nation for the value of its agriculture shipments.
In the first nine months of this year, Wisconsin exported more than $2.3 billion worth of agriculture products, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection.
The biggest export coming out of Wisconsin is dairy products, including eggs and honey.
A majority of the products go to Canada, China and Mexico. And the number of exports continues to grow.
Great River Organic Milling in Fountain City is contributing to those numbers.
"All the stuff that's in the boxes and palette wrapped, that's finished product. That's going out," said president Rick Halverson.
By the end of the year, more than 2 million pounds of organic flour and mixes will leave Great River Organic Milling.
Some stay domestic; others make it as far as Canada, Thailand or Hong Kong.
"People choose in their lifestyle to eat healthy, eat organic products. The United States is certainly big in organics, but we're somewhat behind the curve compared to the rest of the world," Halverson said.
That's why he expanded.
When Halverson bought the flour mill a decade ago, it was struggling to compete in America. It didn't event consider exports. Now, that makes up 10 to 15 percent of business.
The grain is turned into organic flour, bread flour, hot cereals, even pancake mixes.
Halverson's product is distributed internationally, but the grain is grown right here in the Midwest.
"We're a trusted source," he said."
Great River Organic Milling is 10 times the size it was before Halverson took over. They've gone from a staff of three to a staff of 15 people.
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