Uzbekistan group visits US following Council’s D.C meeting

A week after Minnesota Soybean’s Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Chair Tom Frisch and CEO Tom Slunecka visited with the Minister of Investment, Industry & Trade at the Embassy of Uzbekistan, trade relations between the United States and Uzbekistan continue to strengthen.

After the Council’s trek to Washington, D.C. – and a year since several Council leaders traveled to Uzbekistan – a 10-person Uzbekistan agricultural group arrived in Manhattan, Kans. to begin a two-week-long, USDA-supported animal nutrition fellowship. The agricultural trade mission to the United States is the first of its kind for Uzbekistan. The group started at Kansas State University the first week. Per a USDA request, MSR&PC’s in-country representative, Chris Andrew, recruited and nominated the attendees for this trip, because USDA does not have any employees stationed in Uzbekistan.

“This trip wouldn’t have occurred if we hadn’t invested checkoff resources into on-ground representation in Uzbekistan,” MSR&PC Director of Market Development Kim Nill said. “Chris Andrew is a huge resource for both the Council and USDA.”

In addition, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the president of Uzbekistan, arrived in New York City, where he met at the United Nations Building this week with President Biden. One of the primary topics of their discussion will be U.S.-Uzbekistan trade/investment and economic development of Uzbekistan. Today, 300 American companies, including John Deere, operate in Uzbekistan, a figure that’s more than doubled since 2017.

“Uzbekistan is a country that is growing rapidly,” said Council Director Gene Stoel, who visited Uzbekistan last September alongside Nill and fellow Director Patrick O’Leary. “There’s a lot of potential there for U.S. soy to fill their needs.”

Andrew, who’s based in Uzbekistan, discovered and visited yet another 1,000-cow dairy in Uzbekistan this week. In this YouTube video https://youtu.be/tbiWTavNhCc?si=fipg1D9zmSibTWlz , Brown Swiss genetics is featured, along with the milk they sell to Nestle. In about three weeks, Andrew will accompany a group of the largest Uzbekistan dairy farm owners on a trip funded by the Wisconsin Marketing Board to the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.

Since 2020, MSR&PC has invested soy checkoff dollars in projects in Uzbekistan to identify the country’s increasing need for U.S. soy. The soy checkoff also recently commissioned a feasibility study that focused on the viability of a soybean meal crush facility capability of crushing 4,000 tons per day, along with future development of livestock facilities in Uzbekistan. The study underscores U.S. soy’s unique opportunity for Uzbek importers.

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