Ag study nearing completion
08/01/2012 10:25 AM
An assessment of agri-business opportunities in the Grand Forks region is nearing completion.
Praxis Strategy Group presented preliminary information to the EDC’s ag task force in July. The study, commissioned by the EDC, in partnership with the Red River Council in Grafton and is being funded by the EDC and a grant from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Commission (APUC).
Praxis is evaluating ag-related employment and production trends in the region as well as global trends that can have impact in emerging opportunities for growth in the region’s agri-business sector.
“This study is painting a strong picture of our region’s ag sector and highlighting areas for growth potential,” said EDC President & CEO Klaus Thiessen. “The initial information Praxis shared points to a strong production base, which we expected. Connecting our region’s production base with business opportunities has real potential to help us capitalize on opportunities in the near future.”
The region being studied encompasses Grand Forks, Walsh, Nelson, and Traill counties. Farming in these counties supports nearly 8,500 jobs across all industries and a $270 million payroll.
Global drivers that may, Praxis reports, present agri-business opportunities for the region include shifting requirements in the school lunch program requiring a whole-grain rich menu. The gluten free trend may present another opportunity.
The scientific strength of the Red River Valley Corridor also presents opportunities to meet regional and global demands in this area.
Praxis is completing a regional infrastructure assessment and will complete a blueprint to pursue target opportunities in two areas with the greatest links to the region’s strengths.