Relationships are important to building markets for U.S. soy and the farmer-leaders of the soy checkoff recognize that importance. In fact, the United Soybean Board, along with its international marketing arm, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, will host customers from more than 20 countries in September.
"Face-to-face meetings mean a lot to businesses throughout the world," says Marc Curtis, a soybean farmer from Leland, Miss., and a member of USB's international marketing program. "This year, especially, it gets them out in the field to alleviate fears of not having a crop and also highlights our sustainability."
Teams from Europe, Asia, and South and Central America will visit a wide variety of stops in multiple states. They will tour farms, export facilities, modern livestock and poultry facilities and even the Chicago Board of Trade, learning more about U.S. agriculture and, specifically, U.S. soy.
"The end goal is to increase demand for soybeans," Curtis adds. "You increase demand by making foreign buyers more comfortable with the United States, the reliable supply we have and the quality of our product."
By focusing on the needs of the individual teams, USB and USSEC hope to continue to grow the personal relationships needed to sell U.S. soy globally and maintain soy's rank as one of the top U.S. agricultural exports.