Soybean Checkoff – Jennifer Geck Ott

(Female) Hi. My name is Jennifer Gech Ott and I’m with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. I’m the Manager of Allied Industry Relations and we have had a partnership with the Kansas Soybean Commission since 2008 and we have enjoyed working very closely with the board and through different projects. The Commission has funded several projects in Mexico since 2010. They’ve also funded projects for us in Egypt, in the South Pacific, in Latin America and for website development. The first project that the Commission has funded with us is in Mexico and that has helped us train the local producers down there how to utilize poultry as a raw ingredient in their future production. We targeted Mexico basically because it’s our number one market for poultry and egg exports due to the avian influenza crisis that happened in mid-2012. The market there really relied a lot on our poultry due to so many layers getting destroyed from that crisis and so with the Commission’s funding, we have been able to train almost five hundred attendees from almost a hundred and sixty companies on how to utilize that meat and to develop new recipes. The Kansas Soybean Commission funding has really helped us in addition to getting other funding from the Ohio Soybean Council and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. We’ve also received funding from the Illinois Soybean Association and the Kentucky Soybean Board, so we’re seeing a lot of QSSB funding coming together to really impact the market. Due to all of the funding coming together, we have seen twelve new products being launched in the Mexican market. We have seen products that are ready to cook that are easy for the Mexican consumer that are formatted to the taste that the Mexican consumer prefers that they’re able to just heat in the oven. And they’re healthy products, so this has been really a great opportunity. We’ve seen a lot of growth in the exports. The exports have actually hit one billion dollars to the Mexican market for the first time. This is a record for any of our markets to hit the one billion mark just in a single export. The Kansas Soybean Commission funding has also helped us in a new area and that’s from the South Pacific. The South Pacific, we have targeted…the region is very big and, so, we’ve targeted countries and we’ve launched in about three different phases. The first phase was launched through the Illinois Corn Marketing Board funding and we saw that there were some opportunities in several of the markets there and then we launched the second phase through our USDA Market Access program funding and the third phase we just kicked off just a few months ago back in September to develop or to see if there’s opportunities to develop the market in three countries, American Samoa, Vanuatu, as well as French-Polynesia, so we don’t have the results currently right now, but we’re expecting to have that very soon. We really appreciate the Kansas Soybean Commission funding. The poultry and egg industry is the largest consumer of soybean meal, so we’ve really been able to have a strong partnership. The poultry and egg industry, we utilize about one billion soybean bushels annually, which is a huge amount and we wouldn’t be able to do all these projects without their funding.

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