Soybean Farmer Leaders Attends S.E. Asia Co-operators Conference

While many farmers are prepping for the upcoming harvest, a pair of Minnesota soybean farmers was representing Minnesota’s soybean industry at a conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Rochelle Krusemark, soybean farmer and director for the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC), Jim Call, past chairman of the United Soybean Board and current MSR&PC director, along with Kim Nill, Director of Market Development at Minnesota Soybean, attended the 12th annual S.E. Asia U.S. Agricultural Co-Operators Conference August 25-28.

U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Foreign Agricultural Service – United States Department of Agriculture (FAS-USDA) hosted the conference.

“My understanding of global marketing prior to attending the S.E. Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference was an illusion compared to my current comprehension,” Krusemark said. “Networking opportunities allow farmers to develop relationships with buyers, marketers and shippers, which will ultimately increase exports of Minnesota soybeans and soybean meal.”

The conference theme aimed to highlight changes and challenges faced by agribusinesses today. Economic growth, influencing regions and proliferation of trade agreements in the recent years were all topics of discussion, as they all fuel agricultural trade. 

A panelist of industry experts also shared their valuable insights on what lies ahead in their industry sector. Call represented Minnesota soybean farmers on the panel.

“This conference is very important to Minnesota soybean farmers as most of the soybeans exported from Minnesota end up in the countries represented at this conference,” Call said. “MSR&PC sponsors this event with checkoff dollars because it brings buyers and sellers of U.S. soybeans together, possibly resulting in sales of Minnesota soybeans and meal.”

Other panelists included Jim Miller, USSEC vice chairman, Brandon Hunnicutt, Nebraska Corn Board member, Thomas Hammer, president of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPS-USA), Chris Schaffer, vice president of Exports-Ag Processing, John Baize, president of John C. Baize and Associates and Mike Dwyer, chief economist for the U.S. Grains Council. 

“I look forward to follow-up and future exports of Minnesota soybeans and meal due to relationships kindled at this conference,” Kursemark said. “This conference is just one way we find new customers that are looking for our quality product.”