Vig departs with contingent March 17 as part of MSR&PC ‘See for Yourself’ program, returns March 26
With over half of Minnesota’s annual soybean crop exported each year, overseas markets are very important to the state’s soybean farmers.
Many farmers never think about where their soybeans go once they leave the farm, even fewer get to see the process. The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) is giving more than a dozen Minnesota farmers a first-hand look at what it takes to develop overseas markets by taking them on a See For Yourself tour to Japan and the Philippines.
Fosston farmer Kyle Vig is among those selected to participate in the See For Yourself program, put on by Minnesota Soybean’s market development team. The excursion will take farmers to see food markets, grain terminals, aquaculture facilities, meat processing plants and more.
“I’m intrigued by learning about the aquaculture in the Philippines,” Vig says. “I’m also interested in making sure my checkoff dollars are being well spent.”
Japan is Minnesota’s third largest soybean customer and the Philippines is an emerging market with great potential for increased soybean usage. Most of Minnesota’s exported soybeans are destined for Asian markets.
“I’m not too familiar with what is being done to market soybeans overseas,” adds Vig, “so I expect to see some enlightenment about what is being done, particularly in the Philippines.”
A major component of the See For Yourself trip is to have farmers evaluate the investments that are being made with their checkoff dollars. One of the primary areas of investment is in the cultivation of new markets.
“It’s important that we showcase the value of the soybean checkoff to farmers in the state of Minnesota,” says Keith Schrader, a farmer from Nerstrand, Minn. and chair of Minnesota Soybean’s market development team. “This also provides an opportunity to help farmers get a better understanding of how international trade works from the farm to the end user.”
Participants applied for the trip and were selected to participate by the market development team. Sixteen Minnesota farmers and agricultural leaders will be taking part in the trip that runs from March 17-26.
The MSR&PC is the elected board of soybean producers from across the state who direct the investments of the state’s checkoff dollars into programs designed to increase the profitability of Minnesota’s soybean farmers.