Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

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US Greens Grows Success

by Food Export | May 31, 2017
In 2016, US Greens, LLC, located in Larned, Kansas, in the 1st Congressional District, saw great success due to MAP (Market Access Program) funding. They attended trade shows and developed 10 new international customers with help from Food Export’s Branded Program funding. The export buyers they met with were from 9 different countries. They have received orders from five--Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Hong Kong. Overall to date, due to MAP, they have sold approximately $211,000 internationally. What success!

US Greens is a producer of organic powdered greens in the manufacturing market segment. US Greens is a family-owned and operated business under the parent company of Bert and Wetta Sales, Inc. The history of the company is deeply-rooted in family and friendship.

The company name, Bert & Wetta, comes from its founders, Ray Bert and Joe Wetta. They grew up in small rural towns in Kansas in the 20’s and 30’s. They both graduated with degrees in milling from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and later joined the armed forces to serve during World War II.

In 1946, Ray and Joe met again on the streets of Wichita and talked about what they would do, now that the war was over. They were excited about new developments in feed processing technology. Ray had worked in the dehydrated alfalfa industry up until he volunteered for the Navy. Joe had grown up on a family farm and had extensive experience. Later that year, they formed Bert & Wetta Sales, manufacturers of dehydrated alfalfa meal.

To meet the demands of their rapidly-growing business, in 1948 Ray and Joe partnered with a local machinist, Vern Van Horn, to design and build the Field Queen — the first self-propelled forage harvester in the world. In one process it cuts, chops and loads alfalfa right in the field, ready for immediate transfer to the mill for dehydration and pelleting. After nearly 70 years, the Field Queens are still considered to be the best method for harvesting field-grown greens.

While Bert & Wetta grew, it remained a close-knit family business — an extended family that included all who worked there. In 1983, Carlton Bert left the banking industry and returned to work for Bert & Wetta. He continues to manage Bert & Wetta’s and US Greens’ operations as CEO/President. Two of his children have now joined the business, carrying on the tradition to a third generation.

In 1992, Bert & Wetta expanded into the organic green food business – alfalfa, wheat grass, barley grass, oat grass, and kale. The family farms in Larned were certified organic and major investments were made in establishing processing systems for the new venture. Bert & Wetta quickly became one of the largest organic greens producers in the country. In 2010, US Greens, LLC was formed and began selling in bulk to customers worldwide.

In 2014, Bert & Wetta invested in a state-of-the-art milling center in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The milling center is co-located in the local limestone caves where the pelleted greens are held in frozen storage at -30 degrees F. The new facilities enable Bert & Wetta and US Greens to manage all steps of production, from planting the seeds to milling the final product into beautiful, green powders. US Greens organic powders are still 100% Kansas-grown and processed, and brought to the market through three generations of a small, family-owned and operated company that started back in 1946. 

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products; as these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.

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