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 an 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 email@example.com. 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.
Scott Johnson is a farmer in Pope County where he grows corn, soybeans, peas and sweet corn.
Q: Where did you travel to for your See For Yourself (SFY) mission?
A: I traveled to China in 2013.
Q: What influenced you to sign up for SFY?
A: When hearing about the trip, I was very interested in going to China because of the impact they have on the United States. They are one of our largest customers so that brought me to apply.
Q: What did you know about the soybean checkoff investment in the country before your SFY mission?
A: I knew very little about the checkoff and what our money was spent towards.
Q: What did you take away from your mission?
A: I think the biggest take away from the mission was that our checkoff is going to good use. I liked seeing how our money is spent and that we are making a difference with our overseas customers.
Q: What is one lasting memory that you will always remember from your mission?
A: Even though my trip was a couple years ago, I will always remember seeing the Chinese culture and how much different their way of living is compared to us. It is a lot different than I had expected, especially their technology in agriculture.
Q: Why should someone sign up for the SFY 2016 mission?
A: First and foremost, the mission allows you to understand the checkoff better. I now understand what a portion of my money is going to. Second, I think it is important for us, Minnesota soybean farmers, to see the destination of our beans and where they are going.
Q: What value do you see in the Minnesota Research and Promotion Council investing money overseas?
A: We need to promote ourselves and our product. Because we have large competitors to the south, we need to be investing money to open these markets and share why our product is vital to their country.