Hoosier farmer featured in ad campaign selling soybeans in South Korea - Indiana Corn and Soy

Hoosier farmer featured in ad campaign selling soybeans in South Korea

Posted: June 14, 2024
Category: ISA, ISA Press Releases, News, USSEC

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 14, 2024) — When the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) was looking for a farmer to represent American farmers who grow soybeans using environmentally sustainable techniques, Jim Douglas volunteered.

Douglas is a farmer from Flat Rock, Ind., and a director for the United Soybean Board (USB), the national soybean checkoff program. For nine years, Douglas was a board member of the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), the state’s soybean checkoff program. Now, he is featured on billboards and in commercials in South Korea as USSEC’s representative of a responsible U.S. farmer who produces healthy crops.

“I’ve spent my entire life cultivating this piece of land. When I first realized that soybeans are turned into an extraordinary variety of food products and served on dining tables all around the world, I felt a tremendous responsibility,” Douglas said in one of the commercials. “This crop provides growing children in countless countries with nutrients and nourishment they need. It is for this reason that I decided to adopt sustainable cultivation techniques. I want to conserve this land and pass it on to future generations.”

USSEC’s consumer outreach campaign in South Korea features Douglas promoting sustainably grown U.S. soybeans. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the sustainability of U.S.-grown soybeans among general consumers as well as the food industry. The campaign includes billboards and signs that have been running on buses in Seoul and its suburbs that may reach as many as 260,000 people.

As a result of this advertising in South Korea, Sajo Daerim, a major food manufacturer, has expanded its Sustainable U.S Soy-labeled soy food products. Ourhome, another major food manufacturer and food service provider, launched tofu products with the Sustainable U.S Soy logo label this year. From January through April of this year, 67,000 metric tons of U.S. food-grade soybeans worth $57 million were exported to Korea. USSEC also launched a digital campaign on YouTube focusing on U.S. Soy sustainability.

Douglas is the fifth generation to work his farm in southern Shelby County. In addition to soybeans, he grows corn with his son, James. Through a partnership with the Mark Legan family of Putnam County called D & L Pork, Douglas Farms also finishes more than 30,000 hogs per year. He and his wife, Kay, have five children and 12 grandchildren. The couple now lives about 15 minutes from the homestead house where they first moved after their wedding in 1980.

Through his involvement with ISA and related organizations such as USSEC, Douglas learned about the mechanics of international trade, domestic markets and product development.

“Before I got involved in ISA, I took for granted that all these things happen, and I think many farmers sit back, busy with their lives and family while all this takes place behind the scenes,” Douglas said. “ISA is there every year with a dedicated staff to promote not only soybeans, but industries that use them. ISA is in there plugging along helping with those industries. In the end, they’re going to use more beans because of that.”

He recommends farmers to get involved with trade organizations to put a voice to American ag, though he realizes that means balancing such involvement with farming and raising a family. Douglas said family time is precious, but working in time to get involved is valuable, too. He believes any given person involved in ISA or a similar organization will likely get more out of the organization than they give to it.

“Back when I started out, we were hardly reliant on our trade ties, but now we’re completely reliant on our trade partners and business more than our domestic needs, so the roles and importance of these organizations have really stepped up,” he said.

To see the USSEC video series, go online to bit.ly/HoosierFarmerInSoyCampaignKorea

About U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC): The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) focuses on differentiating, elevating preference, and attaining market access for the use of U.S. Soy for human consumption, aquaculture, and livestock feed in 80+ countries internationally. USSEC members represent the soy supply chain including U.S. Soy farmers, processors, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses, and agricultural organizations. USSEC is funded by the U.S. soybean checkoff, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service matching funds, and industry. Click here for the latest information on U.S. Soy solutions and news about USSEC and U.S. Soy internationally. 

About Indiana Soybean Alliance: The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA works to assist soybean farmers through its strategic initiatives of market development; environmental, social and economic sustainability; value creation and producer engagement. ISA is led by an elected, farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 20,000 Indiana soybean farmers.

This communication was funded with Indiana soybean checkoff dollars.






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