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Business Owner Prepares For China Trade Mission

May 5, 2014, 5:10 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Business Owner Prepares For China Trade Mission

The governor will join representatives from South Dakota businesses this week on his third trade mission to China.

Sunflower seeds from Huron company Advanced Sunflower could be in China in the future. At least that's what one of its owners is hoping for following the trade mission.

"We're trying to get some access to markets that we probably wouldn't have without that. And it is great for jobs," co-owner Danny Dale said.

Dale says a representative from China visited with him last year and showed interest in purchasing more than 20 million pounds of sunflower seeds a year.  It isn't a done deal yet, which is a big reason Dale would like to visit the country in person.

"A lot of times people like to do business with somebody that they've met face to face," Dale said. "Hopefully that leads to something bigger in the future."

That could lead to bigger opportunities back here in South Dakota. If deals go through in China, Dale says he’d have to hire more people.

"We have 38 employees now and we're hoping to keep drawing people in because we are expanding. And if we get some hits on this trip, we'll probably have to build more capacity into our current plants or build another plant potentially," Dale said.

That could mean the addition of another ten workers. Dale is anxious to arrive in China and get a feel for how realistic that possibility is.

Dale plans to work with a Watertown company that has different kinds of seeds and also has a representative going on the trade mission. He says they might help each other appeal to more customers and in turn, create more South Dakota jobs.

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