Americas Trade Team Sees Commitment To Excellence Firsthand

Last week a U.S. Soybean Export Council trade team of 23 customers of U.S. Soy from the Americas Region visited those in the value chain, including farmers, feed millers, genetics providers and more. Hosted by the Iowa Soybean Association, the goal was to showcase excellency throughout and highlight the efforts in sustainability.

“On display, the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa State University Corteva Agriscience, our Sustainability Director Abby Rinne, and the Federal Grain Inspection Service shared what they do and spotlighted U.S. Soy from A to Z, articulating the value of a cohesive system,” says Luis Bustamante, USSEC America’s U.S. Soy marketing specialist. “

Additionally, participants saw firsthand the sustainability, innovation and quality assurance practices that start on the farm as Rick Kimberly, of Kimberly Farms in Maxwell, Iowa, welcomed team members.

“The commitment to an appropriate long-term vision and taking care of the environment, along with the generational transition is impressive,” says Angel Salazar, president of Ahproaba in Honduras and one of the trade team participants.

Salazar recognized that sustainability is not necessarily a cost for farmers but more of a value add with the goal of building the soil and the longevity of the land.

During the three-day visit, participants also heard about opportunities for U.S. Soy as it relates to the use of soybean meal in animal and aquaculture feed formulations, sustainability and the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol.

The USSEC team was joined by Edward Jhee, director of the Federal Grain Inspection Service National Grain Center, and Charles Parr, the deputy director.

They provided an overview of the Federal Grain Inspection Service laboratories ad what they do. Parr also walked trade team participants through soybean grading procedures and provided some hands-on experience to help visitors better understand the process and importance of quality.

Ana Trelles, general manager of the Peruvian Swine Producers Association, grades beans during the hands-on training by Charles Parr, deputy director of the Federal Grain Inspection Service.

The trade team also visited an Iowa State University state-of-the-art feed mill demonstration facility, which isn’t yet fully open.  The facilities will be ready to fully host teams during the second quarter of 2022, and USSEC is already linking interested parties in the Americas.

Here, customers learned more about the importance soybean quality, advances in feed manufacturing, and the Iowa Soybean Research Center.

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Iowa State University’s Dirk Maier, a professor of grain and feed operations and processing and expert in biosystems engineering, showed trade team members around the complex with Joseph Oppong Akowuah, a visiting faculty member from Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology of Ghana.

“A construction culture, despite what interest or what organization you represent. The U.S. ag ecosystem is keen to invest as needed,” notes Cesar Pinzon, executive director, FEDEACUA.

Customers also had the opportunity to interact with visiting scholars from Africa and realized that most pains are shared across the global feed manufacturing and animal husbandry industry.

Bustamante shared that it was a successful three days and that customers returned to their home countries with a high-level overview of the U.S. Soy value chain and the commitment from all parties to ensure quality, consistency and sustainability.

Many thanks to our host, the Iowa Soybean Association, and all the speakers and organizations who helped make this trade team a memorable and educational experience. 

— Partially funded by U.S. Soybean Farmers and their checkoff.