Will McNair with US Soybean Export Council

(Will) I am Will McNair with the U.S. Soybean Export Council. I manage industry and state relations. We’ve been good partners with the Kansas Soybean Commission for quite a while. Kansas, within the past year, has invested in three particular projects-Japanese courses at Kansas State University, a Risk Management course-Latin American Risk Management Course, which takes place at Kansas State as well as down in Latin America, and then finally aquaculture projects, building aquaculture production in Latin America. The Japanese Swine and Poultry Production Courses take place at Kansas State and essentially what we do is we talk about the intrinsic as well as the extrinsic qualities and value of U.S. soybean meal. We bring in for each of these courses 8 to 10 buyers, as well as poultry and nutrition managers, swine nutrition managers and feed formulation specialists. They come here, they learn about again, some of the feed formulation, but then they get one-on-one opportunity to meet with Kansas farmers, Kansas exporters, as well as be able to just learn more about the value of the bean. Then we have the extrinsic value that they learn about through relationships that they make with U.S. exporters here as well as relationships on the farm with Kansas soybean farmers. The second project that the Kansas Soybean Commission worked with us on this year, was the Risk Management Course within Latin America. What this is essentially is we find preferred buyers of U.S. soybeans, soybean meal, different soy products that exist within Latin America that are very good buyers, but they may not have the technical knowledge, or the knowledge in terms of buying and hedging their risk. We know these are preferred buyers in the U.S. and we try to make them stronger, better buyers of U.S. soy products so that they can gain more market share and in turn buy more soybeans. This is a multi-year project we’ve been doing and it shows great results. In fact, when we had the course just recently in Kansas, they were able to meet with the young Kansas farmers, a group of young Kansas farmers, I forget which group exactly, the farmers were able to talk about some of what they see, what they do in risk management. And again, talk with these business heads. What it does again, is it not only strengthens the relationship between U.S. and specifically Kansas farmers and Latin American buyers, but as well just helped to strengthen those buyers that will continue to buy U.S. soy in the future. Finally Kansas has been quite involved with other states including Iowa and Nebraska in aquaculture programs within Latin America. Aquaculture has grown to be an incredibly big industry, an incredibly important industry for U.S. soy. It is estimated that I think, approximately 9 to 10 million metric tons of soybeans are used in aquaculture annually. In fact, starting in 2011 aquaculture or farm raised fish surpassed beef as the number, surpassed beef in total tonnage production. It’s only gone up there. It’s important to note this because aquaculture and specifically certain species like carp, tilapia, shrimp, others use quite a bit of soybeans in their production. Latin America is a very big buyer of U.S. soybeans, soybean meal and other soy products that make it into these aquaculture diets and Kansas is helping to, the Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas soybean farmers are helping to grow that demand and really grow the preference for U.S. soy as well as grow that market. We’re seeing increased market growth in other markets as well, but what’s incredibly interesting is as aquaculture starts to spring out throughout the world and grow up, markets that used to grow aquaculture for U.S. say China, Vietnam are now eating all that they can and are actually becoming black holes of sucking in all the aquaculture production that they can. And so that’s why we’re increasingly buying a lot of the farm raised fish from places in Latin America. Again, it’s all good because as it grows they consume more soybeans and create more value for U.S. and Kansas soybean farmers.

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