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Home > Food from Farm to Table > Business, Economics & Agricultural Marketing > Exporting > MDA International Staff

MDA International Staff

Meet the team:

Jeffrey Phillips - International Trade Manager

Jeff PhillipsJeffrey Phillips is the International Trade Manager at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. He’s responsible for overseeing export and trade activities for the state’s food and agricultural sector. In encouraging and strengthening trade of food and agricultural products around the world, Jeffrey provides export counseling, strategic planning, business partner matching, coordinating trade promotion activities, and hosting international visitors. Before joining the MDA, Jeffrey served as the European trade representative at the State of Minnesota Trade Office. Jeffrey received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh and additional training in food science & technology from the University of Minnesota.

Jeffrey and the trade team at the MDA look forward to working with all the innovative food companies and agricultural producers in the state to expand your international presence around the globe. Whether a company is exploring their first export, adding a new market to their international portfolio, or need assistance overcoming a trade problem, we are here to support your team. I encourage everyone to take advantage of all the great programs available to food and agricultural producers, including the Branded Program, foreign buyer missions coming to Minnesota, or exhibiting at a trade show around the world. I look forward to meeting you soon - perhaps in Canada, Germany, Mexico or Korea!


Brian Erickson - Domestic/International Marketing, Tradeshow Support, Business Development

Brian Erickson international marketing staffBrian works with Minnesota food and agricultural products companies on marketing and market development. He focuses on domestic programming, but also has extensive experience coordinating international events and representing Minnesota, primarily in Asia, by coordinating export promotion events. Brian created and now directs the Tradeshow Support Program (TSP) and Minnesota Pavilion events program, and is responsible for tradeshow budgeting. Brian also administers Minnesota’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program, which helps Minnesota develop specialty crops. Brian has a particular interest in working with food and beverage startups and enjoys connecting with, and helping, Minnesota entrepreneurs.

Contact Brian with questions about business development, food company startup, tradeshows, TSP program, grant opportunities, market planning and specialty crop block grant program.  


Emily Jerve - Market Research, Commodities

Emily Jerve staff pictureEmily serves as a research analyst for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. In this capacity, she researches economic and statistical data related to Minnesota’s agricultural production and commodities. Emily also performs market research to promote Minnesota agricultural products domestically and internationally. She works closely with USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), as well as commodity councils, private companies, and other agricultural export and marketing organizations.

Prior to joining the MDA, Emily worked at USDA NASS, collecting and analyzing data on Minnesota crops and livestock. She also worked at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC on international programs.

Emily has an M.P.S. in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University and a B.S. in Science in Agriculture from the University of Minnesota. Emily served as an agriculture volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in West Africa.

Contact Emily with questions about, Minnesota agricultural statistics (at the county, regional and state levels), agricultural export data, crop acreage yield, livestock inventory. 

Su Ye - Domestic & International Market Research; China & Taiwan Trade

Su Ye serves as chief economist and provides domestic and international market research and analysis at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. She is also the Greater China trade expert helping Minnesota companies export agricultural and food products to the Greater China region.

Su’s previous international trade experience included working as the international trade representative for the Ministry of Agriculture in China, and China trade consultant for U.S. Fortune 500 companies.

Su holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Beijing Languages University. She is also a United Nation’s Certified English-Chinese translator and simultaneous interpreter.

She has served on many public and private organizations’ boards of directors, and is currently a board member for U.S.-China Business Connections.