The USSEC Southeast Asia (SEA) office, particularly the USSEC Thailand country office, has benefited from the support of the Kentucky Soybean Association. When the Kentucky Soybean Board of Directors met in Louisville, Kentucky in July, a representative from the USSEC SEA office presented to their board on the status of agricultural trade in SEA and how the board’s support has resulted in benefits to U.S. soybean farmers and specifically to Kentucky soybean farmers.
The board meeting was a two-day event with a theme dinner the night before the meeting. At this dinner, there was ample time for informal discussions between the USSEC SEA representative, Lukas Manomaitis (USSEC SEA Technical Director – Aquaculture), and various board members. The next day, Mr. Manomaitis and USSEC QSSB and Industry Relations Manager Will McNair both presented to the Kentucky Soybean Board of Directors at their annual meeting. This was an opportunity to have a more focused discussion about the current situation and potential for U.S. Soy in Southeast Asia and the world. This was also an opportune time to be with the Kentucky Soybean Board, as specifically in Thailand discussions had started with TVO, a local Thai crusher, to purchase Kentucky beans, which are believed to have a higher than average protein content. This kind of direct linkage between the support that Kentucky had provided Thailand and Thailand expressing a specific desire for Kentucky beans are an ideal situation for showing the benefits of direct QSSB funding to programs and projects.