The staff at Interstate Mills in Hayfield took time Thursday afternoon to provide an overview and tour of their elevator and feed mill facilities. Photo submitted
Visit was an opportunity
to highlight farming in Minnesota and build partnerships
A delegation of eight leaders from Taiwan's poultry, swine, feed and agriculture sectors visited Minnesota last week to meet with farmers and other agribusiness leaders.
The U.S. Grains Council brought the delegation to Minnesota to learn more about dried distillers grains (DDGS), which are a by-product of the ethanol process and a high-nutrient feed source for livestock and other farm animals. Every bushel of corn grown can produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 18 pounds of feed.
The Minnesota Corn Growers Association helped arrange several visits for the delegation, including a visit to a corn farm in Albert Lea, Interstate Mills in Hayfield, the University of Minnesota and a grain river terminal in Savage operated by CHS.
Thursday was hot and humid in southern Minnesota, but it didn't stop Cole Pestorious from showing the delegation around Frontier Family Farms, a corn and soybean farm he operates with three partners and other staff.
"Being a farmer in the U.S. is a lot of work," Soros Wen-Jeng Su told Pestorious while standing in one of his corn fields after the tour.
"There's a lot of planning," Pestorious responded. "It's kind of like running a factory, just a different process. There are also things you can't control, like the weather."
During the tour and overview, Pestorious -- a sixth generation farmer -- talked about the costs of farming, markets, planting decisions, what influences annual yields, the impact of this year's wet spring on planting and different types of corn seed.
The delegation also got an up close look at some on-farm grain storage and machinery like a combine, corn planter and other equipment used by corn farmers.
From there, the group traveled about an hour north to meet with leaders from Interstate Mills and tour its elevator and feed mill facilities in Hayfield. Interstate Mills can store 476 tons of finished feed at its Hayfield facility and can receive 5,000 bushels of corn per hour.
Ken Langer, feed operations manager, highlighted the feed mixing process and where Interstate Mills' main customer base is located. Langer also led a tour of the feed mill facility and answered questions from the delegation about contracts with local farmers, where the company sends grain and the wet spring.
Interstate Mills employs about 20 people in its Hayfield location.
On Friday, the delegation met with a DDGS expert at the University of Minnesota and toured the CHS grain river terminal in Savage before traveling to Seattle.