Nebraska soybean farmers fostered trade relationships over lunch with visiting Chinese pork producers last Friday.
The tour, coordinated by the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), brought producers from various Chinese organizations to Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to meet with pork industry experts and farmers.
Cale Buhr, market development coordinator for the Nebraska Soybean Board, presented to the group about Nebraska soybean quality and how it impacts the pork industry. In 2016, Nebraska exported $1.07 billion of soybeans and soybean products to China—51 percent of total soybean production. Buhr explained how U.S. soybeans contain higher amino acid content than competitors’ and how that affects the overall quality of the feed.
“It’s important to explain to these producers that U.S. soybeans continue to create the highest quality feed for them,” Buhr said. “Our goal is to use our time with them to listen to what they have to say and sustain a preference for U.S. soybeans.”
Nebraska Soybean Board member Richard Bartek of Ithaca, Neb., attended the lunch. No stranger to hosting trade mission trips from other countries, Bartek said he values the chance to meet foreign trade partners.
“In the U.S. we produce more than we can consume, and China is our biggest foreign buyer, so it’s always very nice to meet with people who are using our soybean commodities in another country,” Bartek said. “I think they came away understanding we work hard to see that they get a good product.”
This tour was one of many the Nebraska Soybean Board will host in partnership with USSEC in 2018. Bartek views the trips as an important opportunity for soybean farmers.
“It does the soybean industry a lot of good if we can have a personal relationship with our foreign buyers and our end users in this country as well,” Bartek said.
Information provided by the Nebraska Soybean Board.