Business Notes 12/12/12

State ag exports hit record high in 2011

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s agricultural exports hit a record $6.8 billion last year, according to figures released Tuesdayby the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

This is up 13 percent, or about $750 million, over the previous year. The state’s top exported commodities of soybeans, corn, red meat, wheat, sugar, dairy and feeds accounted for more than 80 percent of the state’s total agricultural exports.

Agriculture is Minnesota’s second-largest exporting sector with major markets in China, Mexico, Japan and Canada. Nationally, Minnesota is the sixth largest agricultural exporter in the U.S.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson says more than one-third of the state’s total agricultural production is exported, representing a significant economic contribution to the state and its rural communities.

“These exports have a huge impact on our state’s economic health,” Frederickson said. “That’s why it’s important to continue our focus on developing and expanding export markets for Minnesota’s agricultural products.”

According to the MDA, agricultural exports support more than 54,000 jobs in Minnesota and generate additional economic and business activities in many non-ag sectors.

Here are the top exported commodities for 2011 and their values:
Soybeans $1.6 billion
Corn $1.3 billion
Pork $740 million
Wheat $459 million
Sugar and Related products $359 million
Dairy $218 million
Feeds $116 million
Beef $111 million


Snap Fitness Selected as the Falls Chamber “Business of the Month”

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. — The Falls Chamber of Commerce recently named Snap Fitness as its December Business of the Month.

Employing two, this locally owned, full-service gym includes Cybex strength equipment, a cardio theater and free weights.  Owner Darcy Brookins opened her second Snap Fitness location in downtown St. Croix Falls in August 2005. She also owns and operates Snap Fitness in Osceola.

In addition to work out tools, you can also find tanning, massage, personal training, nutrition advice and a pool and sauna at Snap Fitness. They offer year round fitness challenges and free educational seminars in nutrition and exercise and regular membership specials.

Snap Fitness is also a community partner, sponsoring the recent Autumn Fest Wellness Walk and Kids Scavenger Hunt, which took participants through the downtown St. Croix Falls business district.

Membership in the Chamber is open to individuals, large and small businesses and non-profit organizations.  For more information about Chamber membership or benefits visit their website at