The first in a series of U.S. Soybean Export Council Animal Utilization Stakeholders Meeting was held over the weekend in Seattle to allow United Soybean Board farmer directors to gather industry and regional inputs ahead of planning project funding for FY 2013.
"This meeting is a gathering of farmer leaders who help make decisions on how we invest checkoff funds and FAS funds in our market promotion, market development programs," USSEC CEO Jim Sutter said. "So it's an opportunity for them to be here to listen to the many industry exports we have as well as our people from all around the regions of the world to gather here and kind of brainstorm on what our projects ought to look like for the future."
Immediate Past Chairman of USB Phil Bradshaw from Griggsville, Ill. says he is very pleased to see where the USSEC is today.
"There had been a little bit of tension between the American Soybean Association and USB and the U.S. Soybean Export Council," Bradshaw said. "But under the great leadership of Jim Sutter the new CEO, and USSEC new staff members and the efforts of a lot of the old staff member that have been around a long time, I think we're on the right track and the future is bright. I just think we're really going to move a lot of soybean meal in the future."
David Hartke, USB Director from Illinois who serves on the Production Committee says increasing demand for protein in China will make U.S. soybean exports even more important in the future.
"The demand in China just for animal feeds alone is going to be huge with the number of people they have to feed," Hartke said. "And it's that way around the whole world, I mean the demand for protein is huge and it's going to keep increasing. We just need to figure out how to keep U.S. soybeans number one as far as customer demand for protein for their livestock."
The USSEC annual meeting followed on the heels of the stakeholders meeting in Seattle Monday.