We started our final foggy day in Duluth with the selection of our individual report topics for our upcoming international study. Nan Larson did a great job of leading our ice breaker activity as we paired up to have short conversations with someone we haven’t had a chance to talk to this week. It was a great exercise, and we all had a chance to learn something new about someone we haven’t spent much time with yet. Next we broke into our EQi coaching groups and had a chance to catch up. We also discussed the benefits of growth through impulse control. We had a chance to talk about triggers that influence our impulses, and how to effectively manage them. It was a great opportunity to discuss some of the struggles and successes that our group members experience. The significant others were offered a session by Olga and Toby about Listening, Focused Conversation and crafting questions. (photos below)

              We welcomed Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Port Authority, to speak with us about the role of the port in the region, and how it impacts the area and the country. Deb provided a tremendous amount of fascinating information including the top commodities exported, top destinations, and the typical trip for the commodities to leave the port. She also discussed the diverse array of services that the port authority provides. The group owns and operates 40 acres, and over 400,000 sq. ft. of indoor warehousing space in the port. She explained that Duluth port is referred to as foreign trade zone #51, meaning they may store, process, and alter products in the area, and not be subject to duties until the product enters the markets. This gives the port an advantage to many industrial and commercial interests. Deb also talked about the environmental stewardship practices that are used by the port authority. They current are responsible for dredging the harbor, and for properly reusing the dredge material. Additionally, they continuously test ballast water (water discharged from the cargo ships) for any contaminants they may put off. Deb was very thorough in her presentation, and her expertise and knowledge was quite impressive!

              Next, we made our way to the port to board our Vista Fleet Cruise. We were joined by Deb, and we were given a special boat tour of the port. We had the opportunity to see the Clure Public Marine Terminal, the CHS Grain Elevator, Riverland Ag facilities, Gavilon Grain LLC, and General Mills Superior. Combined they have the capacity to hold right at 40 million bushels of wheat! We also had the opportunity to see a ship being loaded with Taconite Iron Ore from rail cars on the Hallett Docks. The boat tour was very informational, and we had a chance to take in some beautiful Duluth weather! We wrapped up our day with our extra-large version of “Golden Nuggets” as our spouses and guests joined in. There was a diverse array of takeaways that were all great experiences.

Lastly, Matt Tiffany invited all to the MARL picnic held at his family’s farm on August 7th, where friends and interested individuals are welcome.

Written by Matt Altman


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