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 delegation of farmers and industry experts to Vietnam and Cambodia, Jan. 6-19, 2024.

“One of NSM’s goals is to grow the global demand for northern-grown soybeans,” said NSM Chair Patrick O’Leary, who farms in Benson, Minn. “We want to continue to encourage international markets to consider soybeans and soymeal from the Pacific Northwest a viable option. The best way to get that message across is face to face.”

Members of the delegation include O’Leary, Nebraska farmer and NSM board member Eugene Goering, University of Minnesota Researcher Seth Naeve and poultry nutritionist Robert Swick. The group will kick off their meetings in Hanoi, before traveling to Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia.

“I’m excited to meet with our international purchasers and strengthen our relationship with them through one-on-one conversations,” Goering said. “It adds an important level of rapport that can’t be built through a video screen from across the ocean. And, because Nebraska is adding additional crush capacities in the next couple of years, we want to continue to promote soymeal exports.”

As the world’s sixth-largest pork and fourth-largest aquaculture producer, Vietnam is the world’s 13th-largest soy consumer. Southeast Asia is No. 2 among U.S. soy import markets.

While in-country, the delegation will meet with feed mill executives, nutritionists and purchasers. Customer visits will include Dabaco, which focuses on animal feed, poultry breeding and food processing, and Vinh Hoan/Feed One, which specializes in the farming and processing of frozen fish products. A seminar with presentations highlighting NSM’s messaging will be held in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with feed mill industry representatives and local media invited.

“Everything we do is geared towards our mission of increasing the profitability of soybean producers in the U.S.,” O’Leary said. “These overseas missions are an integral part of our organization.”

To cap off the mission in Southeast Asia, part of the delegation will head to Cambodia for feed mill visits and a seminar, in collaboration with the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH).