USSEC SE Asia Brings Technical Team to U.S. for Academic, Trade Visit
- General News
USSEC Southeast Asia sponsored a team of three technical representatives from the Philippines to the U.S. for a two-week long exchange in January and February. Led by Dr. Basilisa Reas, technical manager at USSEC SEA, the delegates participated in the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, visited the University of Illinois research facility, and toured the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
The team included Cecilia Lazaro, head of R&D at San Miguel Purefoods Inc (SMFI), the biggest integrator in the country; Lauren Chua, resident nutritionist from Simon Enterprises, the second largest commercial importer and distributor of soymeal in the Philippines; and Dr. Dionisio Literato, operations manager at Red Dragon Farms, an operation with a monthly capacity for 3500 sows and one million broiler production per month, with monthly soymeal consumption of 8000 metric tons.
The first part of the trip was to attend the IPPE in Atlanta from January 28-30. The IPPE scientific forum discussed the latest research results from various universities in the U.S. that focused on issues specific to the poultry industry, while the trade show provided advanced and modern equipment for the biggest poultry operations in the world. USSEC sponsored a meeting which addressed the potential risks faced by international delegates when importing soybeans and soymeal. This meeting was attended by more than 80 delegates from different countries and included officers from USSEC and the American Soybean Association (ASA).
At the USSEC booth, Dr. Reas shared USSEC’s programs and information with USSEC staff and representatives from other countries, and had the chance to meet with key customers who asked for more information on U.S. soybeans. She also updated grower leaders and United Soybean Board (USB) officers on growth potential in Southeast Asia and explained why the region will continue to be one of the biggest consumers of U.S. soymeal.
On January 30-31, the group visited the University of Illinois and its state-of-the-art research facilities. The team toured the research laboratory of Professor Hans Stein and were given a demonstration of how some experiments were conducted. Dr. Stein and his students at the laboratory also engaged in discussions on some of these current experiments, which include fiber, amino acids and energy metabolism in pigs and poultry.
Dr. Stein also shared information about an ongoing research study involving a bioassay of different soymeal in pigs. Among the samples are three Argentine soymeal samples of 300 kilograms each which had been collected in the Philippines as part of a USSEC collaborative research study. As SMFI and Simon Enterprises had contributed two of the three samples, they were very excited to learn the results of the said study. The team members were very impressed with the research facilities, which they said made them realize how standards back home were lacking.
On 2 February, the team visited the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to observe and experience a typical day on the trading floor. Mr. Rob, an international trading consultant, explained the entire trading activity and how the trading floor was divided into different sections for the different commodities such as soymeal corn and vegetable oils. This visit allowed nutritionists to better understand the core decisions related to the purchase of key feed ingredients. Dr Reas also explained how differences in soymeal quality can affect prices, and how the higher amino acid digestibility and energy content in U.S. soybean meal gave that extra value.