USSEC Development Academy Improves Member and Customer Support

USSEC has proven its commitment to industry training and education through efforts like the Soy Excellence Center, the Soybean Oil Masters program, the Soy Food Masters training workshops and more. USSEC brought this expertise to team members around the world with the launch of the USSEC Development Academy.

“The USSEC Development Academy is an internal training initiative designed to increase the knowledge and understanding of USSEC team members of the totality of the U.S. Soy industry beyond their expertise,” says Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO. “The training uses the Soy Excellence Center’s digital learning management system to provide broad-based training in all aspects of our industry.”

Following seven weeks of online learning modules and live lectures, the first cohort to complete the training capped their experience with a week-long “trade mission”-style tour that included soybean farms, a feed mill, aspects of the soy transportation network, industry meetings and more.

This training supports the professional development for USSEC team members, enabling their leadership growth to represent the U.S. Soy industry globally.

“The work our team does to support marketing programs can sometimes be very focused; the Development Academy gave the big picture of how all parts of the supply chain work together to deliver U.S. Soy,” says Zaira Flores, USSEC Americas Project Manager.

The first training module covered topics like commercial soybean seed development, the growing season on a U.S. farm, processing, export transactions and shipping logistics.

“There is a great need to further develop the sustainability of the animal nutrition industry in Nigeria. The experiential learning provided through the Development Academy will help me work with customers to bridge the food security gap in Africa,” says Foluso Alabi, USSEC South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa Country Team Lead for Nigeria.

The capstone tour brought the online training to life and let USSEC team members see first-hand what our international customers experience when they visit us to explore the U.S. Soy industry. This experience will improve their ability to support U.S. Soy customers and supply chain members in the future.

“The capstone tour provided an opportunity to learn through field visits and industry interactions. It gives me more confidence to talk with customers about U.S. Soy farmers and their sustainable production processes,” says Chandrasekar Sankaranarayanan, USSEC South Asia Head of Aquaculture Utilization.

The USSEC Development Academy reinforces USSEC’s commitment to deliver world-class performance and service.

“Future advanced courses will cover topics like sustainability, international logistics, risk management and soy utilization,” Sutter adds. “Our team members are our greatest asset in serving contacts around the world, and I look forward to seeing how this investment in our people will benefit our members and customers.”

This story was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.

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