U.S. soy industry leads overseas trip for trade development

The United Soybean Board representatives say export and trade development is critical for increasing international demand.


zunicuros@gmail.com UROS ZUNIC

Trade development is a big part of overseas demand for the U.S. soybean industry. The United Soybean Board has provided an opportunity for a group of future checkoff farmer leaders to travel to Southeast Asia to get an inside look at customers using domestically grown soy products.

It has been a few years since the tours last took place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as one Kentucky farmer participant Brent Gatton explains, the group trips overseas are important part of education for industry members that needed to resume once the time was right.

“The program has been gone for the last few years because of the COVID years and things like that, so the committee felt that it was extremely important to bring a program like this back to help educate young U.S. soybean farmers that pay into the checkoff, to show them how their checkoff dollars play an important role not only into domestic markets but in international markets as well,” Gatton said.

The tour started in Cambodia, also making their way to Vietnam and Singapore.

“We got to see firsthand how our checkoff dollars provide a great return on investment for all U.S. soybean farmers,” Gatton said. “While we were there, we got to visit a variety of operations, from small local aquaculture farms to commercial aquaculture farms to small and commercial soy and tofu markets as well.”

Accoring to Gatton, the U.S. soybean farmers were well received at each stop.

“We had six participants and we had six USB Directors that participated in this mission—we ranged as far west as Kansas and as far east as Delaware,” he explained. “What was really neat is these customers truly want to meet a U.S. soybean farmer. They want to hear our story. They want to know the sustainable practices that we’re gonna do on our farm and how U.S. farmers provide the safest food supply in the world. They just really wanted to put a face with the product.”

To learn more about the mission or participate in a future trip, click here.

Related Stories
Trade experts point to improved outlooks for overseas wheat crops as a key factor at play in the domestic downturn.