Brad Frisvold, the International Marketing Manager for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, is a valuable partner to the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Brad's work supports Iowa beef producers by promoting connecting international businesses with business in Iowa know for their outstanding product offering, like beef.
Developing domestic and international relationships is pivotal in attracting agribusiness partners to consider Iowa products. In the case of the beef industry, Iowa producers stand to benefit from robust markets where there is a strong demand for beef. The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) helps foster a competitive marketplace by enticing international businesses to choose Iowa.
The Iowa Beef Industry Council leans on subject matter experts, like IEDA International Marketing Manager Brad Frisvold, to fill in the gaps where IBIC staff can’t. “Because such a large percentage of the economic engine of the state is agricultural, that means the economies of metropolitan areas and small, rural communities all stand to gain from a thriving Iowa economy,” said Brad. IBIC staff doesn’t have the time or expertise to field inquiries from international businesses, that’s where Brad and IEDA’s expertise shines as a valuable partner.
IEDA works under three guiding principles:
1) Strengthening Iowa’s economic environment
2) Cultivating community vitality for all of Iowa
3) Building partnerships and leveraging resources to help foster economic growth in Iowa
IEDA helps Iowa fully realize the economic impact of the beef industry by fielding inbound business inquiries and connecting interested parties together. Agriculture is the heartbeat of the Midwest, when agriculture flourishes, small businesses, churches, schools, etc. flourish too. “Ultimately, our mission is to make Iowa the choice for people and agri- business,” shared Brad.
IEDA is a government-funded agency with no particular affiliations so it’s uniquely positioned to help provide economic stability across all industries, especially underserved industries. They support businesses by providing access to grants, connecting buyers and sellers or even helping a business owner break into an international market. It’s often the leg up small and medium-sized businesses need to break through barriers inhibiting their growth.
“It’s all about connecting entrepreneurs to the next contact that can help solve their problem. Not all inquiries are inbound, IEDA helps Iowa business owners too. For example, if a company is looking to export beef products to Mexico, IEDA can connect them to staff in IEDA’s sister office in Mexico City to conduct distributor searches or do market assessments,” said Brad.
The agency has sister offices all over the world and long-term contractors in countries where there isn’t a maintained office. “This helps get our foot in the door during international trips where we otherwise would get turned away,” said Brad. “In international countries where relationships are paramount for business dealings, it’s hard to put a price on the long-standing relationships IEDA has cultivated over years of international trips.”
It’s challenging to capture the economic footprint from these activities because it doesn’t always happen as a direct result of the initial meeting. However, the value of relationships and the opportunity to access trade channels to and from Iowa is immeasurable for Iowa’s beef industry. “I often think the value of trade gets overlooked. It’s sometimes hard to touch and feel. But when you make relationships and you meet people that are actually buying the product and see it happening, that’s when you know it matters,” Brad remarked.
As a producer, your Beef Checkoff dollars play an important part in this by extending the IEDA’s ability to help promote beef utilization in overseas markets.
To learn more visit https://www.iabeef.org/cattlemens-corner.