USSEC hosted a trade team from the Asia Subcontinent (ASC) bookending the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange (GTE) in Omaha, Nebraska on August 16 and 17. 14 customers and USSEC consultants from the ASC region participated in the GTE and the U.S. Soy industry tour. This year’s mission incorporated industry and farm visits, diverse aspects of the U.S. Soy industry, before and after the GTE.
Prior to the GTE, delegates visited the Federal Grain Inspection Service, which generated a discussion of how soybeans and corn are inspected and graded; Consolidated Grain & Barge, where they observed grain being tested, and unloaded and loaded onto a barge on the Mississippi River; a visit to the farm of Jim and John Carroll (United Soybean Board [USB] director), where they talked about how soybeans are grown, conservation practices, and flexible pipe irrigation; Bentley Farms, where they observed corn harvest in action, grain storage, and drying; Cobb Vantress, where they discussed consolidation and market share in poultry genetics, tech servicing, and breeding for specific traits and the lead time required to develop new lines; and the Tyson Discovery Center, where they viewed Tyson products and test kitchens where recipes for commercial use are developed and tested.
The team also attended a short course on Poultry Nutrition at the University of Arkansas, including the comparative advantages of U.S. Soy and a visit to the UArk poultry farm and feed mill. The delegates also spent a weekend in Branson, Missouri, enjoying Silver Dollar City, the Dixie Stampede, the Branson Ducks, Lambert’s Café, and Fantastic Caverns.
Next, the mission headed to the Lansing Trade Group, where they discussed products and the U.S. Soy industry, and Delong, where they toured the facility and watched loading of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) into containers. They also discussed the railway system, as Delong’s facility is located by the Burlington Northern Southern Freight Railway. At Cargill, the team toured the Kansas City crush facility and talked about the crush process.
In Minnesota, the group visited Keith Schrader Farms and the Mall of America. They met with Minnesota Soybean, where they heard an update about research and future developmental work. They also visited Crown Iron Works and toured Central Farm Service Elevator & Shuttle Loading Facility and Stone Arch Commodities. They also met International Feeds at Birches on the Lake, before meeting with CHS and U.S. Commodities
The team participated in the GTE and the Trade Team Invitational (TTI). USSEC chairman Jim Miller and USB chairman John Motter had the opportunity to manage, interact, and assess the ASC region’s market status at the TTI session. Similarly, the ASC customers had an opportunity to interact with additional grower leaders while in Omaha. A few ASC customers appeared in front of the media and expressed why U.S. Soy is of immense value to their operations. The group spent its time at the trade show building networks and renewing contacts.
“ASC customers participated in the entire program with great enthusiasm, questioning and continuously learning,” said USSEC Deputy Regional Lead – ASC Vijay Anand. “As a result, top line ASC customers from the feed milling sector, poultry, and soy crushing went through a varied, action packed educational session for about a fortnight. The interactions within the ASC customer group also aided new learning and promoted a stronger understanding of U.S. Soy imported and handled in the region and provided the team with an opportunity to compare and contrast trade processes practiced across the globe by various USSEC offices.”