The ginseng plant has a big impact on the United States, and central Wisconsin. Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises has been operating in Wausau for 40 years, distributing to Chinatown locations in both the U.S. and Canada.
"Marathon County is the center of American ginseng," said Paul Hsu, president of Hsu Ginseng Enterprises. "Ninety-five percent of American ginseng produced in the United States is from this area. We use it for health reasons, for immune system enhancing or energy."
Growing ginseng has become a successful business in Wausau; so successful, they are sending an employee overseas to keep expanding.
"I'll be the first one Hsu's sent out to Hong Kong or sent out to the branches," said Kenneth Chiu, a sales representative of Hsu Ginseng Enterprises. "It's really important to educate our customer that the American ginseng is really good, and that it's really from Wisconsin."
Chiu said he is ready to take on the job of growing the ginseng business in Hong Kong. He moved to the United States from Hong Kong to play baseball for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Chiu said he's excited to go to Hong Kong because it's his home. "Going back home, it's always good to be around with the family, and it's also exciting." Chiu also has a strategy to promote the Wisconsin-grown ginseng. "See what is happening over there, see what people like over there, because it's always different in different places," he said. "Trying to learn the environment, trying to understand how the situation is."
"It's going to be very beneficial for the area of the industry here that we make a presence," said Hsu. "It's that company, that base in Wausau, Wisconsin that send the staff over there to promote, to sell our product."