With Minnesota as the number one producer of food grade soybeans, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council knows how important it is to engage industry partners on the process of turning soybean seed into a quality product. Wise checkoff investments from MSR&PC supported that purpose this week when an international group travelled to the United States to attend Northern Crops Institute’s “Food Grade Soybean Procurement” shortcourse.
“This short course gives them the opportunity to listen to a wide range of speakers and learn about the theory of what’s going on,” said Alan Poock, World Initiative for Soy in Human Health Director (WISHH), Asia Division. “It also gives us the chance to build relationships, which is very important in Asian culture.”
Throughout the week, the group, some of whom are from Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, had the chance to learn from experts on various topics and visit local farms and processing facilities. Following the visit to NCI, the group travels to Minneapolis for a tour of the Intermodal Rail Loading Facility and to attend the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance’s Fork to Farm event.
“Surely, we would like to learn more about food grade and IP (Identity Preserved) soybeans because most of us don’t know about the ingredients in the products our companies provide,” said Thae Ei, who grew up on a commercial soybean farm in Myanmar.
Quality is the name of the game when it comes to food grade soybeans, so checkoff-supported programs such as these are invaluable. Connecting with foreign buyers and showing them firsthand the dedication to producing a quality product builds rapport, strengthening the food grade soybean market. Seeing is believing, and MSR&PC’s sponsorship of this NCI shortcourse was a sound opportunity to put Minnesota’s soybean checkoff to work for them.