This week, participants from three different continents traveled to Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to dive into the world of soybeans through the Northern Crops Institute’s (NCI) INTSOY: Introduction to Soybeans course.
On Monday evening, the group visited Craig and Patty Lichtsinn’s family farm near Dumont, Minn., where they learned about the day-to-day life of a soybean farmer and marveled at the equipment in the farmyard. Throughout the evening, attendees were curious to learn about all that goes into farming.
“There are very few jobs where you can walk out in the morning and look out at wide open spaces,” Craig Lichtsinn said. “It’s freedom.”
As a sponsor of this course, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is investing checkoff dollars to do powerful things across the world – like providing children with a more well-rounded diet. The tour was the first formal trade team visit that MSR&PC had helped to host since 2019.
As a nutritionist for El Salvador’s Ministry of Education, Ana Maria Vigil de Cativo traveled across the ocean to attend NCI’s INTSOY course. While on the tour, Vigil de Cativo gathered all the information she can to bring back to her peers in El Salvador.
“In El Salvador, there is no protein in school lunches. It’s too expensive,” Vigil de Cativo said. “Small schools, with 500 students, can afford to include protein in their lunches but big schools, with 5,000 students, can’t afford any protein. We’re hoping to incorporate soy into our lunches, which is why WISHH invited me to this course.”
Whichever business reason participants have for attending, Minnesota soybean farmer checkoff dollars are being put to work through courses like this one to build new soybean markets across the world.
“They aren’t here on vacation, they’re here to work,” said Marypat Corbett, WISHH project director. “They’re going to learn as much as they possibly can while they’re here to bring it back to their companies and encourage them to purchase soybeans. We have an opportunity with everyone here to move more soy protein products into that market.”