With more than half of Minnesota’s annual soybean crop being exported each year, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) uses a portion of the soybean checkoff to expand markets and build relationships with international customers. Because of the value exporting brings to soybeans, the Council offers Minnesota farmers the opportunity to evaluate these investments by participating in a See For Yourself (SFY) mission.
The 2016 SFY mission will be headed to Vietnam, with tentative dates of March 16, 2016, through March 27, 2016. Any questions on the trip can be directed to Keith Schrader, Vice Chairman of MSR&PC, at 507-649-1574 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in the mission can apply here.
Leading up to the 2016 SFY mission, Minnesota Soybean will be interviewing past participants about their mission experience
Jim Sallstrom is a farmer outside of Winthrop, Minn. He has also served as a past director of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, United Soybean Board and was a past president of the Minnesota Soybean Processors Inc.
Q: Where did you travel to for your See For Yourself (SFY) mission?
A: We traveled to China in 2013.
Q: What influenced you to sign up for SFY?
A: With having past experience on the soybean boards, I knew about the SFY mission and had a strong interest in where our soybeans go.
Q: What did you know about the soybean checkoff investment in the country before your SFY mission?
A: I was pretty well versed as to what the checkoff was used for but was interested in seeing it firsthand.
Q: What did you take away from your mission?
A: It was very interesting to see another culture and have a hands-on tour to see agricultural sites. I also enjoyed meeting people who use our product.
Q: What is one lasting memory that you will always remember from your mission?
A: I will always remember seeing the building cranes. It was impressive to see how fast the cities were growing. While we were in China, they were building a large apartment building. You never realize how progressive they are until you see it for yourself.
Q: Why should someone sign up for the SFY 2016 mission?
A: Any soybean farmer would find this mission valuable. It is an opportunity to learn about our export market and how we are expanding our global reach. In the United States, we can only use so much of our product. It is important to find other markets and people who could use our soybeans.
Q: What value do you see in the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council investing money overseas?
A: Looking back, we never used to see China as a market. It is valuable because of how much China is expanding. It is an additional market for the U.S. and a way to increase our consumers.