Peter Mishek and the Grays Harbor Project

Hi, my name is Peter Mishek. I’m an International Marketing Consultant. I represent AGP and SRDC. SRDC is a group of states, which includes Kansas Soybean Research and Development Council and basically what we do is we invest in projects to export more soybeans and more soybean meal primarily in Kansas’ case to Asia and into Mexico and Latin America. So I was over here to apprise them of the progress of the two projects that they have supported for quite a period of time now. The Grays Harbor Project, which is a, we built a facility about ten years ago at Aberdeen, Washington and it specializes in shipping soybean meal. Now that facility is generating about 50% of all the exports to Southeast Asia or in Asia from the US. It’s quite an improvement and so the beans that leave from this area would actually go into Kansas City and into Sage Hill, Missouri and be crushed there and then shipped out. Also, beans would grow, most of the project really focuses on meal and one ton of soybean meal requires 46 bushels of soybeans to manufacture because you also have the oil of course. One ton of soybeans is 36.74 bushels so it’s about a 40 — 30% increase in the actual numbers of soybeans required for every ton of meal that we ship. So not only does this mean jobs for people around the Kansas City and Sage Hill area, you’re actually shipping more soybeans when you ship meal. It also allows us to keep quality control on the final animal feed that, though really the final customer for soybeans in most cases are going to be producers of poultry, swine, and aqua. The advantage of shipping soybean meal is we’re able to maintain our quality control and traceability. So this is basically what our program is about. Kansas has been a big supporter of this program since its beginning. In fact on the Latin America Program, which is now just three years old, Kansas is one of the founding members of that program and we hope to have Missouri also participating in it before the end of this year. So that we will have a total of six states supporting really what it amounts to shipments from Kansas and Missouri to the south. I think you’re going to hear a lot about this in the coming weeks and months, you’re going to hear a lot about the disadvantages that the US has strengthening their dollar versus Latin America and all the reasons why we shouldn’t export. But our philosophy and that of the AGP and the Soybean Research and Development Council and I think the Kansas Soybean Commission is that we’re here to compete. We’re willing to get out and spend the money and resources. Really, it is more about resources and relationships to increase our share of those markets and we’re not going to shrink back even though from time to time people may have certain advantages. At the end of the day, marketing is a human endeavor and it’s an intuitive endeavor; one that has to be repeated and repeated just like a farmer has to go plant every year. These relationships and markets need to be address every year. They require a lot of maintenance.

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