Japanese scholar studies local ag operations
By Michael Johnson, Editor
The production of rice in Japan is of utmost importance as it has been a staple on the food table for thousands of years there. Most land that can be cultivated, is in order to grow as much food as possible for the largely populated country. But the populations in those rural areas are dropping. In comparison, North Dakota has fast become a major producer of corn, this year more than ever. The reason – the price of corn pays off. Increased use of corn for ethanol has been another major factor for the increased need in the number of those golden cobs. What could North Dakotan farmers, businesses and cooperatives have to offer an agricultural scholar from Japan? That was the question before Hiroshi Isoda, an associate professor from Kyushu University in Japan. Isoda made contact with Bill Patrie, executive director of Common Enterprise Development Corporation in Mandan who helped him get in contact with several local individuals to find out more about how North Dakota makes it work with value-added agriculture. He spoke with Blue Flint Ethanol of Underwood, as well as area grain farmers to ask them about their investors, their profit and their futures. He asked about how many employees worked there, how many locations and facilities did the company have and what were the special features of the business.