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Asian soybean buyers tour Minnesota farms

Evansville farmer Jeffrey Larson discusses his soybean crop with a group of soybean and soybean meal buyers from South East Asia during a tour at his farm last Wednesday. Larson, a former member of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council board, is active in promoting soybeans locally and globally. (Contributed)

Minnesota soybean farmers recently gave a group of soybean and soybean meal buyers from South East Asia a tour of the farms where their soybeans are grown. 

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The international trade team members, hosted by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) in conjunction with Ag Processing, Inc. (AGP), had the opportunity to meet the farmers and take a look at their 2014 crop.

The delegates are currently buyers of soybeans and soybean meal from AGP’s west coast Grays Harbor Port.

The delegates toured soybean farms near Underwood and Evansville last Wednesday. On Thursday, they visited a dairy facility, turkey facility, ethanol plant and a soybean and hog farm near Danvers.

The MSR&PC recognizes the value of these soybean customers and is working to give them perspective on the reliability and high quality that the state’s soybean farmers consistently produce.

“Relationships are important,” said Sam Ziegler, Minnesota Soybean director of marketing programs. “They have the opportunity to meet a Minnesota soybean producer and see the care in their eyes about feeding not only their family but families around the world.

“We have a very high quality product, and we are building a high level of trust in our products to match it,” he added. “If they trust us they will buy the food and feed that we are so good at producing.”

The MSR&PC oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the state’s soybean farmers.

The council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. Funds are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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