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Wisconsin farmer bound for NSM trade mission

Categories: WSMB, WSPPublished On: February 21, 20242.5 min read

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Northern Soy Marketing (NSM), a farmer-led board comprising the soybean checkoff boards of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota, is sending a cohort of farmers and industry experts to Indonesia, March 2-9, 2024.   

Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) director and NSM Secretary Nancy Kavazanjian, along with Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) director and NSM board member Glen Groth, University of Minnesota Researcher Seth Naeve and poultry nutrition consultant Robert Swick, will travel together for meetings with feed mill executives, nutritionists and buyers. The group will start their meetings in Jakarta, before traveling to Medan and back to Jakarta to finish the trip.  

“It’s important to see our customers; they like to see us, get to know us, and know that the soybeans we grow are grown with care and that they’re quality,” Kavazanjian said. “It’s a great way to be with customers and to meet them face-to-face and to foster that relationship.” 

Indonesia is the most populous country and largest economy in Southeast Asia. There is a large consumption of traditional soy foods such as tofu and tempeh that makes it the largest food use soybean importer in the region at 2.5-2.6 million metric tons (MMT) per-year, of which 90% is U.S. soy.  

The soybean meal consumption has grown annually by approximately 4% due to the livestock and fishery sector expansion. Indonesia imported 5.34 MMT soybean meal in 2021. 

“I know that more than half of the soybeans grown in the United States go overseas, and that exports are really important to us U.S. farmers to add value to what we grow,” Kavazanjian said. “The more customers that we get, the better it is for us as farmers and the better it is for our customers because we’re providing them with a valuable protein that will feed their fish and chickens and will help them to be able to feed their people.”  

Kavazanjian is excited to speak to those in Indonesia about her farm and why she is passionate about growing soybeans on her farm, especially sustainability practices. Kavazanjian wants to share the care U.S. farmers put into growing, harvesting and storing their soybeans to provide the best quality product for their customers and why the added value comes from Pacific Northwest-exported soy.  

While in-country, the cohort will meet with feed mill executives, nutritionists and purchasers. A seminar on understanding U.S. soy quality will be held in Medan, where Groth and Kavazanjian will present on their farming operations. The week will be spent in meetings and on tours discussing U.S. soy and the quality of soymeal exported from Pacific Northwest ports.  

“I really think NSM is a great group to really promote our northern soybeans and to work together,” Kavazanjian said. “It’s so important that it’s not just about growing soybeans in Wisconsin, it’s about not just my farm, but the region and the whole U.S. The more we can do to find new markets for soybeans, the better off every farmer in the United States is.”