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MSR&PC CEO joins first-ever USDA Taiwan mission

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) CEO Tom Slunecka participated this week in the first-ever USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) agricultural trade mission to Taipei, Taiwan.

Slunecka was joined by nearly 50 U.S. agribusinesses and commodity groups, respectively, led by FAS Administrator Ken Isley.  The delegation explored how to continue increasing agriculture exports, notably soybeans, to Taiwan – the U.S.’s eighth-largest agricultural export market.

Slunecka says he felt a sense of optimism throughout his visits with Taiwanese officials and buyers.

“In a dark economic time, I found hope as we visited Taiwan,” Slunecka said. “From seeing imported U.S. soybean oil on the shelves in stores to meeting yet again with the chairman of the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association, who signed the letter of intent to purchase more than a billion dollars of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota over the next two years, I’m seeing firsthand a direct effect of soybean checkoff investments.”

The U.S. is Taiwan’s top supplier of agricultural products, with a 31 percent market share.

“The relationship we have built with Taiwan is a direct reflection of what Minnesota soybean checkoff dollars can do,” Slunecka said. “It takes time and commitment, but we are fortunate our farmer leaders are dedicated to doing all they can to increase the value of our soybeans.”

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