The soybean crop covering much of Ohio's farmland sells all over the world to produce animal feed, ink, biodiesel and more. Just ask Van Wert farmer Trent Profit, who saw it all for himself as part of the soybean checkoff's "See for Yourself" program.
Profit and nine other U.S. soybean farmers participated in this year's program. Each soybean farmer experienced how various poultry, livestock and aquaculture facilities and soyfood processing plants utilize U.S. soy by traveling to the Jalisco, Mexico, region, July 25-30.
"Our soybean checkoff dollars continue to be spent well," Profit says. "And, we have dedicated farmers trying to increase our market share."
The "See for Yourself" program began in St. Louis where participants saw new soy uses at an ink plant, biodiesel performance at an international airport, and witnessed the importance of inland waterways with a stop at a barge transportation company. While in Mexico, U.S. soybean farmers toured the SuPollo processing plant and poultry farm, an egg processing plant and a fish farm.
"'See for Yourself' provides USB the opportunity to evaluate the perceptions of a group of U.S. soybean farmers who are eager to learn more about the checkoff," says John Motter, USB Audit and Evaluation program vice chair and a soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio. "The checkoff has a system of checks and balances in place, and the 'See for Yourself' program helps us evaluate USB programs. Visiting Mexico allowed soybean farmers to see the value of our international customers, and the value those customers see in U.S. soy."
"The U.S. has a prominent presence in Mexico's soybean market," Profit says. "Traveling to another country to learn about their culture and how Mexico uses our products was a great opportunity."