The United Soybean Board See for Yourself program of 10 soybean farmers had the opportunity to tour a tilapia farm, poultry operation and soy food processing plant while in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Marc Curtis, chairman of USB, went along with the group for the first time. Curtis says he was impressed with the technology being used in Mexico.
"The poultry and livestock operations that we've seen are as modern and up to date as anything you'd see in the United States," Curtis said. "Certainly in a country where technology might not be the key word, there are spots of technology that are really impressive."
Curtis also talked about why a soybean grower here in the U.S. should care about what is happening with agriculture in Mexico.
"You have to understand that about 98% of the soybeans that a farmer grows had to be eaten by some kind of animal, that's how we get the income," Curtis said. "So it only behooves us to expand production, animal production, anywhere we can. We work in the United States to expand production there, but we also work internationally to help increase demand for soybeans through meat production all across the globe."
Curtis says for every dollar the U.S. farmer invests in the checkoff, there is a return of $6.40.
"Everywhere we've been the people we're working with down here have told us how important it is for us to be here and how much it has helped them expand their businesses," Curtis said. "So as they expand their businesses, then it expands demand for U.S. soybeans because they are getting all their soybeans from the U.S. The U.S. soybean farmer's dollar is being well invested expanding markets and creating more demand for his U.S. soybean."
The group spent time in Mexico last week to learn more about how their checkoff dollars are being spent.