Farmers the Difference Makers in International Trade Relations

Minnesota Soybean leadership attended the U.S. Soybean Export Council refresh and strategy meeting Jan. 20 -23 to get a better understanding of the export markets while discussing ways to continue to grow those markets.

 Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council vice chair, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Director Lance Peterson along with Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka attended the meetings to get a better understanding of USSEC’s vision as well as share valuable input in the process.

 “Minnesota Soybean leaders and professional staff dedicate a large amount of time to increase market demand,” Slunecka said. “Meetings like this are a way to make efforts as effective as possible.

 One of the speakers that presented at the meetings was Paul Burke, Regional Director for USSEC in North Asia.

 “There are more than 1.55 billion soy consumers in north Asia and they rely heavily on U.S. farmers for their food supply,” Burke told attendees.

Burke said rapid growth in soy consumption in North Asia is driven by China. He said that while the Chinese market continues to grow, long-term U.S. trade partner Japan is showing a decrease in demand for soy due in part to an aging population.

Burke said that in-person meetings between U.S. farmers and buyers is essential to trade relations. The MSR&PC recognizes this importance and hosts trade teams each year to strengthen relationship with partners abroad. The MSR&PC also invests checkoff money to send farmers abroad to better strengthen those relations.

“Customers in this market place care deeply about purchasing their food from a sustainable and safe system,” he said. “The U.S. farmer continues to demonstrate that we care about how we raise our crops and how our customers feel about our cropping systems.”