Milbrandt Vineyards co-owner praises results of WSDA export program

By the Tri-City HeraldNovember 15, 2012 

— Washington recently reported strong sales of $198.2 million from state export assistance for fiscal 2012.

The state Department of Agriculture and Department of Commerce are encouraging more small- and medium-sized businesses to take advantage of the export training, counseling and aid the agencies offer.

Clients using WSDA export assistance saw sales grow to $120 million for fiscal 2012, up more than $25 million from 2011. Businesses reported $78.2 million in Commerce Department-assisted sales, well above the $60 million target. The combined agency figures represent 1,257 jobs.

So far, 1,038 new-to-export companies have been helped by the two agencies and the Community Economic Revitalization Board's export training programs.

Butch Milbrandt of Milbrandt Vineyards in Mattawa said in a news release that working with the Department of Agriculture has helped his Wahluke Slope winery increase its chances of export sales.

"WSDA has introduced us to buyers from around the world, greatly enhancing our export program," he said. "Most recently, they brought 10 buyers from four countries to our vineyard. This is particularly helpful, because when we can get buyers seeing our operation first hand, it increases our opportunities for exports."

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