It's official, the Japan Trade Team is coming to the Palouse and our farm next month! This is exciting news. In visiting with Theresa from the Idaho Wheat Commission, my first response was great! Then I asked, what do I feed them and how many are coming? The guests are 5 men who range from being the director of the U.S. Wheat Associates to managers from various flour mills in Japan. Theresa's ever calming presence assured me they will eat whatever I prepare, but did offer some suggestions. They like red meat as it is very expensive in their home country and considered a rare treat. So the menu will consist of good quality USA steaks, most likely potato salad as well as other local items produced on the Palouse. Their visit will be very short and packed with lots of activity such as visiting the Lewis/Clark grain terminal, the WSU Wheat labs, the UI greenhouse & seed processing plant, the Palouse Northwest Farmers Coop (in Genesee) then onto our farm. They will be ready for a cold beer and dinner after all that.
By inviting those who use our products is not just a good business practice, but a way to allow them to see first hand where their wheat comes from and who grows it. They actually get to see "farm to processing" so they can be assured what we send them is the best product for their noodles, crackers, etc. Visits like these allow time for questions, discussions as well as developing a special rapport with our buyers.
Most likely we will invite a couple of other wheat growers to dinner so the trade team can ask us all sorts of questions. I will definitely get lots of pictures to post.
Meanwhile, farming is at a standstill for now due to crazy weather. Yesterday we had 50 mph winds, today it was still windy but not nearly the extent of yesterday plus it's snowing... yuck. No spraying for weeds today and we will see what tomorrow brings- although the forecast is for rain. So the guys check fields on both farms to see what is needed in the way of tending the crops and will have a plan of action when "Mother Nature" gives them the go ahead to get back in the field.