More than 280 international buyers from 50-plus countries met in Indianapolis Aug. 30-Sept. 1 to network, learn from industry experts and solidify export agreements at the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange.
As part of its efforts to expand markets, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council Chairman Keith Schrader and Vice-chairman Pat O’Leary led a contingent of farmer leaders to the three-day event.
“The goal was to meet with our contacts and to make new contacts with overseas buyers,” O’Leary said. “It was a great opportunity to meet people who attend this conference from all over the world, not just one market. So we were able to talk with European buyers, Asian buyers, South American buyers; the list goes on and on.”
Joining Schrader and O’Leary, who chairs the Market Development action team for MSR&PC, were Minnesota Soybean Growers Association directors Mike O’Leary, George Goblish, Joel Schreurs and Bob Worth along with former MSR&PC director Paul Simonsen.
“Minnesota was well represented at this event,” Pat O’Leary said. “We’ve made a lot of connections over the years, and having a strong MSR&PC delegation was important to maintaining those relationship. But we were also represented by researchers such as Dr. Seth Naeve and Dr. Jim Orf.”
In addition, O’Leary said that the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange offers attendees the opportunity to participate in learning sessions, something he found valuable.
“We’ve been concentrating on essential amino acids (EAA) as a better indicator of nutritive value than soy protein and crude oil,” he said. “At the conference, we learned about companion research out of the University of Illinois that helped reaffirm our EAA message.”
After the conference it was reported Chinese buyers committed to purchase more than $1.8 billion dollars of U.S. soy, totaling 146 million bushels of U.S. soybeans. Several of these commitments were made official at a signing ceremony held during the event and hosted by U.S. Soybean Export Council.