ST. CLOUD - German agricultural manufacturer Geringhoff held a news conference in St. Cloud today (Tuesday) to announce plans to come to the city.  It will be their first manufacturing plant in North America.

Speaking in German, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says it's an exciting day.

Geringhoff investigated nine separate regions, and visited over 40 factories before selecting St. Cloud.

The company makes corn heads for combines.  The President of Geringhoff North America Joseph Jandrisch says they plan to initially hire about 100 workers, and the hiring process has already begun.  They want five prototypes built in St. Cloud by April.  Have a pilot run of 30 units done by harvest season next fall, and then go into full production after that.

The CEO of Geringhoff Worldwide Daniel Hansmeier says they made their first visit to St. Cloud back in January, he says they knew then they had found their location.

They'll be located in the former Donlin Company building on Energy Drive in the Airport Industrial Park.  Donlin closed their facility in October of last year.

The state will provide Geringhoff with a $500,000 loan.  Minnesota DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips says Minnesota is 5th in the nation for agricultural exports.

Hansmeier says the company sees a huge potential for growth in the North American market.

Geringhoff was founded in Ahlen Germany in 1880.