See for Yourself 2015: New Orleans

Day 3- Atlanta to New Orleans

On the third day of their tour, the See For Yourself group of South Dakota soybean farmers continued their journey to see the full process of soybeans on their trip to Atlanta and New Orleans.

Breakfast With Buyers

Wednesday morning, the group had the chance to meet with international soybean buyers and industry representatives from Japan, Morocco, China, India, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Venezuela and Mexico. With facilitation by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the farmers and customers discussed the quality of U.S. soybeans, production practices, their operations and families, and how the two groups can continue to do business together. The experience was new for many of the farmers and gave them good insights on what buyers from around the world are interested in when it comes to buying soybeans.

Making connections and building relationships with these buyers is crucial in developing their trust. When the time comes for these customers to make a purchase, hopefully U.S., and more specifically South Dakota soybeans, will be top of mind.

Centerville, S.D., farmer, Tim Ostrem, opened the breakfast with an introduction to the international guests and thanked them for their business. “We certainly recognize the value of our customers with over 60 percent of South Dakota’s soybean crop exported.  Thank you for purchasing our soybeans.”

The International Production & Processing Expo

After breakfast, the group explored the International Production and Processing Expo. It is the world’s largest annual poultry, meat and feed industry event. Booths throughout the show focused on technology, equipment and supplies for professionals in the agriculture industry. Each year, people from over 110 countries attend to network with the 28,000 professionals in attendance.

Anthony Moore

Toronto farmer, Anthony Moore talks to an international soybean buyer.

Our farmer group had the opportunity to participate at USSEC’s booth, talking to show-goers and international buyers about soybeans.

Port of New Orleans

After spending the morning in Atlanta, the group traveled to New Orleans and took a tour of the port located on the Mississippi River. It is the nation’s sixth largest port, facilitating more than 5,000 ocean-going vessels.The port handles about 62 million short tons of cargo a year, including grain in bulk containers. Because of this, New Orleans one of the fastest growing metro regions for exports in the country.

Check back with our blog tomorrow to read about what else the group learned in New Orleans that gives them a deeper understanding of where their soybeans go after they leave the farm.