NSM eager to resume in-person meetings with international buyers

The Northern Soy Marketing group is pleased to welcome the Nebraska Soybean Board to its growing list of Qualified State Soybean Boards that have joined forces to promote the high-quality of northern-grown soybeans.

“Our board was looking for an opportunity for another way to market Nebraska soybeans to our customers in Southeast Asia markets to look at this region for their purchases,” Nebraska Executive Director Scott Ritzman said. “A lot of (buyers) are in tune with the Essential Amino Acid profile grown here and that they should look at that instead of crude protein.”

Nebraska grower leaders approved a measure to join NSM at its October board meeting.

“I know the NSM program like the back of my hand,” said Ritzman, who’s worked extensively with NSM consultant Peter Mishek, “so it wasn’t too hard for me to talk about the group about it.

Northern Soy Marketing also compromises Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. NSM invests soybean checkoff funds to conduct research on soybean quality and Critical Amino Acid Value (CAAV) levels in northern-grown soybeans and sponsors outreach to buyers around the world. The soybean checkoff boards of the founding three states of NSM developed the CAAV to measure essential amino acids and evaluate soybean quality.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to move the needle and leverage our checkoff dollars and extend them even further by collaborating with the northern states,” Ritzman said. “Having Nebraska joining NSM is only going to leverage those dollars further.”

NSM encourages  the soybean marketplace (international buyers) to recognize essential amino acids (EAA) concentration, rather than crude protein as the most complete and best indicator of soybean quality and feeding value. After nearly two years of being unable to meet face-to-face with buyers, NSM farmer-leaders are excited to hold in-person meetings with international partners in the coming months.

“We’re thrilled that Nebraska is now a part of our team,” NSM Chair and Minnesota farmer Patrick O’Leary said. “It’s an exciting time, coming off of COVID and having some strong programming for not only international marketing, but looking at our domestic markets and making sure people understand our mission.”

Nebraska is the nation’s fifth-largest agriculture-exporting state, and soybeans are its top export commodity. More than 50% of soybeans grown in Nebraska are shipped off the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for international markets.

“Now’s the time to focus on our marketing of soybeans out of Nebraska,” Ritzman said. “As the demand for oil is so high, we need to find ways to export our soybean meals enriched in EAA to our customers overseas.

Nebraska Soybean will soon nominate a farmer-leader from its nine-member board to represent the state on NSM’s board of directors. NSM is holding their next board meeting Nov. 28-29 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“We look forward to continuing the great work the NSM group has been doing for the last decade and to contribute on the initiatives from a Nebraska standpoint and amplify their message overseas with foreign buyers,” Ritzman said.