ASA/WISHH Continues a Busy Summer of Successful Trade Teams

Jun 29, 2022

Kansas Soybean Commissioner Lance Rezac speaks with leaders of soy feed manufacturers on his farm in Onaga, Kansas. ASA/WISHH brought trade team members to Kansas to learn more about the benefits of U.S. food and feed grade soybeans and strengthen ties with U.S. soybean growers.

Through ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program, summer trade teams continue to flourish this season as strategic partners and entrepreneurs around the globe visit with U.S. soybean growers, attend training programs, and exchange information on the benefits of U.S. feed and food grade soybeans. This June saw trade teams from Asia and sub-Saharan Africa take part in these valuable programs that strengthen relationships between U.S. soybean and international food and feed entrepreneurs.

First, ASA/WISHH leveraged North Dakota Soybean Council and USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion program funding to bring 11 soyfoods participants from Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) to the Northern Crops Institute in North Dakota and then to Minnesota for the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance’s first Fork to Farm Day on June 10. For the event, they visited the Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota. The June 6-11 trade team was the first large international delegation to arrive at NCI since the pandemic began. They traveled more than 7,000 miles to gain new insights into tofu and soymilk production and the many functional and economic benefits of using U.S. food grade soybeans through NCI’s updated training program, industry visits, and SSGA networking and educational events. SSGA also invited soyfoods company leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam to the educational activities. These foreign buyers are eager to train and network with identity preserved grain and oilseed industry representatives.

“U.S. soybean growers welcome these valued customers who have continued to work with WISHH and NCI in virtual training sessions during the pandemic,” said Adam Redmann, a North Dakota soybean grower who serves a director of the North Dakota Soybean Council, as well as on the WISHH Program Committee. “It is great to host face-to-face trainings again and show them the benefits of using quality U.S. food grade soybeans.”

ASA/WISHH, SSGA and NCI all receive general support from the MSRP&C, NDSC and South Dakota Soybean Council.  NDSC also provided specific funding for SSGA and WISHH for this trade team.

Also included in the trade team action is the Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas State University’s IGP Institute, which hosted leaders of feed manufacturing companies from Ghana, Nigeria, and Cambodia in late June. Trade team members began the week on June 20 with a visit to Kansas Soybean Commissioner Lance Rezac’s farm in Onaga, Kansas. There, they learned more about the benefits of U.S. soy for animal feed, and many were able to see U.S.-farmed soybeans up close for the first time.

“It is always enjoyable to meet representatives from other countries. This group seemed particularly interested in our ability to cover a lot of ground,” Rezac said. “Much of that is attributed to technology. I think that was a great point of conversation and learning.”

To round out the visit, the Kansas trade team group attended IGP’s feed manufacturing training to increase their understanding of the benefits of soy for fish and livestock feeds. The IGP institute provides technical, research-based training to enhance the market preference for U.S. grains and oilseeds. The course covered topics such as grain storage and pest control, particle size reduction, batching and mixing, extrusion, drying and cooling, feed processing effects on animal nutrition, and more. WISHH used U.S. Department of Agriculture Emerging Markets Program, Agricultural Trade Promotion Program, and Market Access Program funding to support the trade team.