Lincoln County farmer Joel Schreurs was among the officers re-elected to the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) as the organization plotted its 2020 strategy at its annual meeting on Dec. 2-3 in Merida, Mexico.
“Transportation affects agriculture more than any other sector, as everything is related to transportation, especially in rural Minnesota,” Schreurs told Soybean Business in a recent feature on the STC. “From the larger picture with the inland waterway systems to local roads and bridges, we use all aspects of the transportation system to get the supplies we need and deliver the products others want.”
During the annual meeting, Kansas Mike Bellar was re-elected chairman for a second year. Bellar previously served as the STC vice chairman from 2017-2018 and secretary-treasurer from 2015-2016. Mike and his wife, Peggy, have five kids and raise soybeans, corn, wheat, and cattle. Mike is also a director on the Kansas Soybean Commission.
“I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve as chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition,” Bellar said. “During this period of uncertainty, we need to do all we can to promote a transportation system that allows farmers to remain competitive. I look forward to continuing to help the Soy Transportation Coalition’s strategy and agenda move forward.”
Schreurs, a soybean and corn farmer from Tyler, remains vice chair for a second year. Schreurs previously served as STC secretary-treasurer from 2017-2018. He has four children. Schreurs is also a director on the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the American Soybean Association.
“The Soy Transportation Coalition strives to be nimble and responsive to the opportunities to improve our supply chain,” said Schreurs. “Ultimately, if we assist in making our transportation system more cost-effective, reliable, and competitive, we will be successful. I appreciate the opportunity to continuing to promote this important work.”
During the meeting, the STC board discussed and emphasized the various strategies and initiatives the organization seeks to continue to advance in 2020. These initiatives include:
- Playing a significant role in the deepening of the lower Mississippi River project becoming activated
- Assisting 2-3 additional states in implementing rural bridge testing projects
- Further developing the concept for transporting soybeans and soy products via container on the inland waterway system – working with American Patriot Holdings and Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District
- Advancing increased semi weight limits at the federal and state level
- Increasing awareness, understanding, and motivation of innovative and economical methods for repairing and replacing rural bridges
- Providing tangible value in promoting the greater use of the Missouri River for the soybean industry
- Promoting the greater use of soy-based products in the transportation space
In addition to the meeting, the STC board of directors visited Grupo Logra – a soybean and grain importer located at Puerto Progreso along the Gulf of Mexico north of Merida. The group also visited the Merida location of Proteinas y Oleicos – a Mexico based processor of soybeans and other oilseeds.
“While the work of the Soy Transportation Coalition is focused primarily on the roads, bridges, railroads, waterways, and ports here in the United States that accommodate soybeans and soy products, it is very beneficial to learn first-hand from importers and international customers of the U.S. soybean industry,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “This is where our multi-step supply chain ultimately concludes. While we continue to enjoy success in the Mexican market, we must do all we can to ensure we are the most reliable and economical supplier to our valued customers. Just because we earned their business today does not mean we are entitled to it tomorrow.”