See For Yourself: Importance of International Marketing

April 12, 2013

As a South Dakota soybean farmer, you have the opportunity to see how the South Dakota soybean checkoff contributes to export opportunities. This June, the SD soybean checkoff will host 15 soybean farmers on a See For Yourself mission to the Pacific Northwest, a major export region for soybeans from South Dakota. The mission will give participants the opportunity to see how the checkoff works to increase productivity, profitability and demand.

South Dakota soybean farmers are encouraged to apply for this year’s See For Yourself mission, June 24 to 27. The checkoff will cover all travel expenses. The See For Yourself trip will highlight the Port of Tacoma, Tacoma Export Marketing Company (TEMCO), Port of Grays Harbor (PGH), the AGP facility, Port of Longview and the Imperium Renewables biodiesel plant.

“The facilities the group will visit all play an essential role in the export process. The See For Yourself program is really an opportunity for farmers to witness what happens with their soybeans beyond the elevator,” said Sarah Even, SDSRPC communications director.

South Dakota farmers Mark Mueller, Phil Smit, Joel Foxley, Pat Scheier & Darin Rogness tour the Port of Tacoma in Washington. The famers participated in the 2012 International Marketing "See For Yourself" program.

Last spring, six South Dakota farmers traveled to Grays Harbor, Wash., to take part in the 2012 See For Yourself International Marketing mission sponsored by the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (SDSRPC). With more than 60 percent of South Dakota’s soybean crop exported overseas, it is key for farmers to understand the export process.

Joel Foxley, a soybean farmer from Platte, S.D., was one of the participants on the trip. “Exports are so important to our operation. Without exports we would not have the market we have. It is imperative for everyone to be aware of how much is moving across our country and into Asia. Until you see it firsthand, you have no idea.”

According to Foxley, participating in the program was an eye-opening experience, and he would definitely encourage his fellow farmers to apply this year. “The biggest thing I took out of the trip is finding out how complex the logistics are to move and time everything from trains to ships. It was such a huge eye-opener. The elevators always tell you they get penalized if things don’t go as planned, but it is such a huge impact. I would love to go again, and everyone should take the time to apply.”

If you are interested, please submit an online application by April 26. If you would like additional information about the program, contact Sarah Even at or 605.330.9942.