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Jennie-O will get trade award

ST. PAUL -- Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar and six other Minnesota companies that have built successful global markets are winners of the 2009 Governor's International Trade Award.

The companies will be honored today during a luncheon at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis in recognition of Minnesota World Trade Week 2009.

The companies were selected for developing a significant part of their business in foreign markets, for increasing or maintaining jobs in Minnesota to support international sales, and for developing novel approaches for competing globally.

"Minnesota companies sold a record $17.3 billion in manufactured exports last year,'' said Tony Lorusso, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. "These seven firms are a good example of the hard work and ingenuity that it takes to succeed in foreign markets.''

The noon program will feature a panel discussion focusing on the global economy, what to expect from the Obama administration, and how Minnesota companies can compete in the international market.

Jennie-O sells turkey products for retail, food service and deli markets. The company exported more than 102 million pounds of turkey to 49 countries in 2008, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. International sales account for 8 percent of its revenue, compared with 6 percent in 2005.