Indiana Soybean and Corn Checkoff at Work in Colombia
Last week, ISA & ICMC Board members attended the Latin America Showcase in Cartagena, Colombia. This showcase attracted over 220 importers from 25 countries throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean who were eager to meet with suppliers of US beef and pork. Indiana Soybean Alliance sponsored the showcase this year and several farmer board members attended to take part in the conversation with buyers. Quality and affordability are what those buyers are looking for, and the US can provide just that. Quality meat products start with the soybean meal and corn being fed to the animals, and more demand for US meat products internationally means more demand for those Indiana crops, bringing return back to the farm. In 2022, U.S. red meat exports used seven million bushels of Indiana soybeans and 35 million bushels of Indiana corn. These exports contributed $1.94 per soybean bushel value and $1 per corn bushel value, so funding export programs through USMEF like the Latin America Showcase remain an important priority for ISA.
During their time in Colombia, Board members were able to see other checkoff programs at work to through red meat and poultry product promotions in supermarkets, retail outlets and distribution centers.
Along with USMEF projects, ISA and Indiana Corn Marketing Council invest checkoff dollars through USA Poultry Export Council to promote poultry products internationally. One projects is a turkey retail campaign in Colombia, which introduces value-added turkey products as well as commodity frozen turkey year-round to the Colombian market. Indiana is home to Farbest Foods, one of the largest turkey companies in the United States with raw turkey products being exported all around the world including Colombia. Farbest and its grower network of 225 family farms rely on Indiana corn and soybeans as feedstuffs for their animals and remain an important market for Indiana corn and soybean farmers.
ISA and ICMC through USAPEEC, also sponsor a program that trains Colombian chefs and food industry experts how to properly prepare duck and duck products for food service applications. Over 400 chefs and food industry reps participate in the classes each year. Home to Maple Leaf Farms, Indiana ranks 1st in commercial duck production compared to other states with more than 27 million ducks being processed each year in the state.
Each year, around 4 million Indiana soybean bushels and 7 million corn bushels were exported through chicken, turkey, duck and eggs. It is estimated that without US poultry and egg exports, soybean prices would be down by 9% and corn prices would be down by 6%.
Learn more about driving demand for corn and soybeans through exports: