American Soybean Association President Richard Wilkins confirmed 15 soybean growers from 11 states to serve as ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program committee in 2016-17. Officers are: Chairman Daryl Cates (IL), Vice Chair Levi Huffman (IN); Treasurer Stan Born (IL); and Secretary E.L. Reed (MO).
New WISHH Committee members include: Tim Bardole (IA); Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare (IL); Kurt Maurath (KS); and Dawn Scheier (SD). Returning members include the officer team as well as: Ryan Cahoon (N.C.); George Goblish (MN.); Jeff Lynn (IL); Steve Reinhard (OH); Jim Wilson (MI) and Art Wosick (ND). Keith Kemp (OH) serves as an ex-officio member representing the United Soybean Board (USB), along with U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Marketing Director Marypat Corbett.
“We commend these soybean growers who lead WISHH’s important work that builds long-term international markets for U.S. soy by leveraging U.S. farmer investments with U.S. Department of Agriculture and other programs,” Wilkins said. “WISHH has a winning strategy that benefits both U.S. soybean growers and WISHH’s developing country partners, who make their nations more food secure by adding U.S. soy protein to their livestock feed rations and diverse human foods."
In the early 2000s, U.S. soybean leaders in multiples states launched WISHH as a way to create trade with developing countries, where a growing middle class would have the buying power to purchase protein foods and feeds. WISHH is focused on creating markets for soy where the need exists but the business does not. A recent example of this occurred in Pakistan, where WISHH helped create an aquaculture market that is contributing to demand for soy-based feed.
WISHH and the USSEC pave complementary trade routes that grow U.S. soy markets. In 2015, WISHH transitioned its Bangladesh operations to USSEC. That country’s annual U.S. soy purchases exceed $250 million. Due to demand for soy protein taking off in Pakistan, WISHH will continue to transition market development programs in that country to USSEC after Oct. 1, 2016.
According to USDA and other economic analysis, developing countries dominate world demand growth for agricultural products. USDA projects developing countries' demand for agricultural products will increase faster than their production. As a result, these countries will account for 92% of the total increase in world oilseed and meat imports in 2013-22.
WISHH is a trade-development organization. Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, it has worked in 24 countries to develop long-term markets for U.S. soybean farmers while fueling economic growth and value chain development. The WISHH program is managed from ASA’s world headquarters in St. Louis.