Opening new markets and developing relationships with international soy users is one area the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) focuses on. Each summer, MSR&PC hosts or partners with organizations to bring international trade teams to Minnesota, allowing them to see different sectors within the soybean industry. This past week two soybean farmers hosted trade teams on their farms.
International feed buyers visit Minnesota
Seven international feed buyers visited Minnesota on their way to the World Pork Expo in Des Moines. The buyers represented numerous countries, including Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, South Korea and Thailand.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) hosted the team before they headed to a farm in southern Minnesota. They visited Scott and Vicky Singlestad’s farm outside Waseca, Minn. The Singlestads grow corn and soybeans along with their son, who contract grows hogs for a local company. The team was able to see the grain bin setup, modern hog barns and the different tractors used on the farm.
“On our farm, we do a 50/50 rotation with corn and soybeans,” Scott said to the group. “This helps with pests and weed control. It is also better for the soil.”
The team’s main goal of visiting Minnesota and the World Pork Expo is to find suppliers of soybean meal and distiller’s dried grains (DDGS). The team previously met with Minnesota companies before the farm tour and will also continue meeting in Iowa.
Chinese swine team visits Lincoln County farm
A 27-member trade team from China spent the past week at South Dakota State University focusing on the swine and feed industry. To end their time in the U.S., Joel Schreurs, ASA director and Lincoln County farmer, invited the team to his farm outside Tyler, Minn., to have a firsthand look at a grain farm. Schreurs met the group in Brookings and traveled through Lincoln County on a bus showing a video about local farmers and the challenges farmers face, as well as their roles to care for the land and animals. At the farm, the team had the opportunity to look at the equipment and storage while being able to ask questions.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to travel and to see the U.S.,” said Zhao Xiaozhong, vice president of Henan United Yingwei Feed Co., Ltd. “The farms here are very large compared to what we are used to. I like traveling around the state to see the big open fields. There is a lot of opportunity here and we appreciate the relationship we have with Minnesota, South Dakota and the U.S.”
Following their stop at Schreurs’ farm, the trade team spent their evening at a rodeo for a local town festival.
“I enjoy inviting trade teams to my farm,” Schreurs said. “The relationships that we are able to create with these teams are extremely valuable. By having these trade teams, it gives us a chance to better understand the world of agriculture and what is important to other countries when it comes to importing and exporting soybeans. I appreciate the United States Soybean Export Council for lining these teams up and giving us the chance to meet with them.”