USSEC Hosts USDA Cochran Team from Turkey

By - Thursday, May 30, 2013

USSEC hosted a USDA Cochran team consisting of Turkish industry and Parliamentary officials applicable to soy-related industries.

The Cochran Fellowship Program provides participants from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies with high-quality training to improve their local agricultural systems and strengthen and enhance trade links with the United States. Participants are mid- and senior-level professionals from both the public and private sectors who are concerned with agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. Since its start in 1984, the Cochran Fellowship Program has provided training for more than 14,300 participants from 123 countries.

CEO Jim Sutter and USSEC staffers Kim Nill, Ed Beaman, and Elizabeth McLeod (summer intern) hosted presentations to the team and subsequent discussion, which covered the high nutritional quality of U.S.-origin soybeans versus soybeans from other origins, how Turkey’s imports of U.S. soy reached a new record high total in 2012, USSEC and how it interacts with USDA & the soy checkoff, USSEC’s marketing programs in Turkey, and the adverse economic impacts on Turkey’s soy-consuming industries of Turkey’s strict biosafety law.  The participants agreed that the biosafety law’s implementation needs to be improved, due to the much larger number of biotech crop events commercially planted in the U.S. than are approved for import in Turkey.  

The delegation’s two week stay in the United States started in central Missouri with meetings at the University of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Farm Bureau, and a dairy farm tour.   The group continued to St. Louis where they met with Monsanto, toured a grain elevator and held the USSEC meetings.  The delegation then traveled to Washington D.C., where they met with FAS, American Farm Bureau, National Livestock Producers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, and the U.S. Grains Council.