Three farmers examining crops in a field.


The Northarvest Bean Growers Association is a major contributing member of the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC). Working with USDBC, our dry bean growers made contact with countries around the world to maintain existing markets and explore opportunities to develop new markets, monitor trade policy and market trends, and discuss dry bean demand with importers, wholesalers, packagers and retailers. The USDBC exists to increase the consumption of U.S. dry beans worldwide. Kevin Regan, Webster, N.D. and Roger Carignan, Cavalier, N.D. represent Northarvest on the USDBC Board of Directors.


Group of diverse people posing for a photo in a room.

Annual Global Reverse Trade Mission

USDBC hosts an annual global reverse trade mission, a flagship event to allow new global industry contacts and buyers to observe dry bean harvest, learn of new advancements in dry bean research, and meet with our growers and dealers. This year’s mission went to Michigan, North Dakota, and Nebraska September 7 – 13, 2019. The trip started in Michigan with a tour of field evaluation, receiving and processing facilities, and one on one business networking. In Fargo the participants enjoyed one on one meetings with industry representatives and spent a day at the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) to learn about the laboratory facilities and new research on dry bean ingredients. This has become an important focus of the mission as buyers in certain markets become increasingly interested in beans as snack and food ingredients.

The group also visited the Food and Nutrition Lab at North Dakota State University (NDSU) to learn more about the health benefits of dry beans. The trade mission wrapped up in Nebraska with more one on one meetings with industry members, visits to bean processing facilities, on farm harvest demonstrations, and time at the University of Nebraska to learn about dry bean breeding. Every year brings new contacts from loyal buyers, new possibilities from potential new markets and renewed interest in sourcing high quality US dry beans.

Group of people standing in a soybean field.

USDBC Trade Mission to Argentina

U.S. Dry Bean Council representatives traveled to Argentina in June 2019 to meet with growers, agronomists, processors, agricultural technology experts, and traders/exporters to better understand the dry bean value chain in Argentina and trends in production and international marketing. Representatives from the Northarvest region included John Berthold, dealer and president of Green Valley Bean Company in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and Mark Dombeck, a bean grower near Perham, Minnesota.

Click here to view the full report.

Group of people standing in a soybean field.

U.S. Dry Bean Council Meets with Cuban Officials

The U.S. Dry Bean Council met with Ambassador Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, General Director for U.S. Affairs for Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, in Washington, DC in early May 2019. Despite the renewal of several regulations limiting trade with Cuba, Cuba remains interested in engaging with U.S. entities whose commercial activities are still permitted by regulations. Fortunately, those regulations remain favorable to agriculture. For the first time, the 2018 Farm Bill includes language allowing for the use of marketing funds grated under the MAP and FMD programs to conduct trade development activities in Cuba. USDBC will continue to provide updates on this opportunities as it develops.


NBGA supports the efforts of the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) which is a collaborative effort among North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota to support the promotion and market development of crops grown in this four-state region. NCI is an international meeting and learning center that brings together customers, commodity traders, technical experts, and processors for discussion, education, and technical services. Situated on the campus of North Dakota State University, in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, this unique facility is only minutes from the farm fields that yield much of the world’s food. For more information about Northern Crops Institute go to their website at


Northarvest continues their participation in market initiative shows both nationally and internationally. To collaborate, shows or trade trips are attended in conjunction with the U.S Dry Bean CouncilMinnesota Department of AgricultureNorth Dakota Department of Agriculture and other State Bean Organizations:


Fradbelin Escarraman, consultant and publisher from the Dominican Republic, creates six e-newsletters for Northarvest. The Trade Servicing E-newsletter is distributed to the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America. The topics included in these e-newsletters are product information, quality issues, prices and trends. Escarraman also maintains continuous contact with current and new importers by gathering market intelligence and keeping an updated database. He then returns information from the buyers to Northarvest indicating any constraints or needs that need to be addressed.