COLTON, S.D. (KELO) — Employees of China-based companies came to South Dakota to learn more about where their soybeans come from. They were able to meet producers, see equipment and experience soybean harvest.
This is one of the first international trade tours to stop in South Dakota since the start of the pandemic.
The 10-day trip shows the process of getting soybeans to the grain elevator.
“They get opportunities to ride in combines, and talk with farmers, discuss the year, and learn enough about soybeans to be able to discern, you know, what’s a quality soybean and what isn’t,” said Peter Mishek, international marketing consultant.
“Our company in southeast Asia, like Vietnam and Indonesia they are using some soybean and soybean meal to produce the animal feed, so this time I joined the tour to see how you grow up in the field and how they harvest,” said Tony Tu, tour participant.
“Just shows the importance of these relationships, you know, that the relationships mean a lot to, you know, how these, how the job gets done and the return customers and a lot of these trade teams that come through, they’ve been buying from us for many years and want to continue that,” said Jeff Thompson, farmer.
It is important for farmers to build those face-to-face connections with their trade partners overseas.
“This is an opportunity for our farmer, processors and elevators shippers to put real faces on their customers in Asia and more importantly for our customers in Asia to become familiar with the benefits of buying in the US and what our challenges are so they know what to expect when we deliver products to them,” Mishek said.
Tours, like this, are also a learning experience for local farmers.
“Just the different things that they look for in their end quality, you know, for you know quality, foreign materials in the beans and stuff. It makes you be more aware of the job we do raising the beans and where they’re going for,” said Thompson.
Farmers from the United States also go overseas to do trade tours, experience other operations and share more about the U.S. crops. They hope to be able to resume these tours as early as December.