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Bean Briefs
November 23, 2005

Bean Briefs

Green Valley Bean Has New Ownership

A group of local growers, management, and Walhalla Bean Company recently acquired the assets of Green Valley Bean from Red River Commodities.  The new company will operate as Green Valley Bean, LLC with offices located in Park Rapids, Minn.  Sales and Administration will be handled out of Walhalla Bean Co's Grand Forks offices.

Green Valley Bean, LLC will continue to operate as a kidney and pink bean processing company, with no major changes planned.  Contracts currently with Red River Commodities for the 2004 crop will remain with Red River and will be executed by GVB.  All 2005 contracts with Red River will transfer to GVB. 

Direct questions to John Berthold, ph. 701-775-3317, email: 


Falkirk elevator approves specialty plant

Members of the Falkirk Farmers Elevator near Underwood, N.D. recently voted to spend $2 million to build a specialty plant to clean and bag peas, dry edible beans, lentils and sunflowers.  Elevator manager Ron Hefta says that growers in the area have been planting more of these type of crops in recent years, and the elevator wants to expand into processing them.  Construction of the project could start this fall, and the plant will employ three people.


U.S. Dry Bean Council Promotes in South Africa

Representatives of the U.S. Dry Bean Council exhibited at "Africa's Big Seven," the largest food industry show in South Africa, this past summer. The objective of this activity was to identify opportunities for U.S. dry beans in commercial and food aid markets in this region, and develop contacts with prospective buyers.

The Africa's Big Seven show is so named since it showcases seven major categories of industry: 1) agri-food; 2) meat; 3) bakery; 4) dairy; 5) hardware and house wares; 6) retail equipment; and 7) retail services.  The USDBC's exhibit included displays of major U.S. dry bean types.

The delegation uncovered prospective opportunities to develop greater demand for U.S. dry beans in South Africa.  Notably:

1. The market for canned beans is growing, and may present opportunities to build on the U.S. navy bean's reputation as a premium quality canning bean.

2. Production of meat pies (meat stews in pastry crusts) is big and a growing business in South Africa. The delegation met with major meat pie manufacturers at the show, and is working to interest them in producing a meat pie with dry beans in it.

3. Per capita dry bean consumption in South Africa seems low for a country where over half the population lives in poverty. USDBC could work with a) the provincial health departments (nutrition section), b) the federal Dept. of Social Welfare and/or c) the South African Dry Bean Producers Organization to promote the nutritional benefits of dry beans to South African consumers, with the hope that a bigger dry bean market plus growing disposable income will open opportunities for cleaner and better cooking U.S. dry beans.


Minnesota Dry Bean Research and Promotion Election Results

The Minnesota Dry Bean Research and Promotion Council recently held elections. 

Mark Welling from Chippewa County was re-elected for District 3.  Mark grows corn, soybeans, edible beans, wheat and alfalfa on his 1,260 acre farm in Montevideo.

Mark belongs to the Chippewa County Farm Service Agency, Corn Growers Association and the Soybean Growers Association. 

Mark says, "I want to help and promote an alternative crop that can add value to Minnesota agriculture."

James Zenk from Renville County was elected to serve for District 4.  James grows corn, soybeans and navy beans on his 700 acre farm in Danube.

James belongs to the Lions Club, American Legion, Farm Bureau, Pro Ag of Renville, Renville Corn Growers, Soybean Association, and the Finance Committee of his church council.  He also serves as Chairman of the Winfield township supervisors, and past president of the Renville County Pork Producers.

James noted that he is happy to be elected to serve on the Dry Edible Bean Council.  He thinks dry beans have enormous potential as a food source for growing world population. "We need to develop this potential by telling the world about our product and producing the kind of bean the end user wants to buy, says James."




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Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: