Bringing World Buyers to Illinois
More than 300 soybean buyers from 50 countries converged in Illinois for the 2019 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange. The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) hosted the conference in Chicago in August with support and leadership from the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program. Soybean buyers and exporters gathered current insight on the global soybean market, explored new opportunities and strengthened relationships. Sessions covered market dynamics, African swine fever, soybean feed quality, container shipping value, sustainability and more. ISA coordinated industry and farm tours in and around Chicago to showcase the Illinois soybean industry.
Prior to arriving in Chicago, a team of tempeh producers from Indonesia visited ISA Chairman Doug Schroeder’s farm near Mahomet, Illinois. They discussed production best practices, soybean quality and more. ISA also hosted a dinner for this group in Chicago during the conference.
One highlight of the 2019 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange was the first day of industry and farm tours. On Aug. 20, more than 300 conference participants loaded nine buses in downtown Chicago and spent the day seeing the Illinois soybean industry in action. Visits included Jeff O’Connor’s farm near Kankakee, Illinois. Despite some rain, no farm tour is complete without a combine on display.
O’Connor and several of his neighbors explained every aspect of soybean production on the farm, including planting and about how Illinois soybean producer manage crop quality and control pests.
During farm tours, Emilie Janes, resource conservationist with the Kankakee County Soil and Water Conservation District, described a variety of conservation best practices that contribute to the sustainability of Illinois soybean production.
Lunch at the O’Connor farm featured several items prepared with high oleic soybean oil, including deep-fried Oreos.
The U.S. Global Soy Trade Exchange literally welcomed the world to Illinois. At the O’Connor farm, tour attendees marked their hometown with a pin on a world map.
Several soybean food processors and other soybean buyers from Taiwan, South Korea and Southeast Asia got an up-close look at soybean cleaning processes used by Scoular at their facility in Andres, Illinois.
Many U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange participants visited soybean container loading facilities to learn more about this shipping option. Several container exporters hosted tours at Illinois locations, including CHS in Newark (top), CGB Enterprises in Joliet (left), and DeLong Company, also in Joliet