NCI soybean procurement course draws 38 buyers from 6 Asian nations

Farm Forum

Fargo, N.D. – Thirty-eight soybean buyers from six Southeast Asian nations learned how to improve their skills in electronic trading while they attended the Soybean Procurement Management for Importers short course at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) from September 22-25. Focus of the course was to learn more about contracting and purchasing U.S. soybeans. Course participants were from Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Sponsors were the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), North Dakota Soybean Council, Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

“The mission of Northern Crops Institute is to educate the world about our region’s crops,” says NCI Director Mark Weber. “Soybeans have become increasingly important as the planted acres in the region multiply each year. Recent studies by the University of Minnesota show that soybeans grown here have a potentially higher feeding value than previously thought. During this course, in addition to learning more about electronic trading skills, we enabled our participants to visit the companies they are buying from and to meet a few of the region’s farmers who produce our soybeans,” concludes Weber.

NCI Director Mark Weber coordinated the course. Diana Beitelspacher, Executive Director of the North Dakota Soybean Council, welcomed the group.

Course instructors were: Gene Griffin, Global Innovative Solutions; Thunyaporn (Naggie) Jeradechachai, NCI Crop Quality Specialist; Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; Frayne Olson, Ph.D., NDSU Extension Service; and William Wilson, Ph.D., NDSU Dept. of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

Two panel discussions were presented. Panelists discussing growing and handling specialty soybeans were: Scott Sinner, SB&B Foods, Inc.; Matt Bohn, Richland IFC; and Mark Halvorson, SunOpta Company. Presenting on soybean pricing alternatives and contracts were: Bob and Todd Sinner, SB&B Foods, Inc.; Paul Holmen, Brushvale Seed; Jennifer Tesch, SK Food International; and Rick Brandenburger, Richland IFC.

A highlight of the course was training in the electronic Commodity Trading Room (CTR), at North Dakota State University’s downtown campus in Fargo. In this commodity trading and financial laboratory, students learn how to extract and analyze information, and then make decisions with respect to risk and risk management.

Participants were hosted for a barbecue dinner at the Bill and Karolyn Zurn family farm near Callaway, Minn. Karolyn Zurn is the Chair of the Northern Crops Council, the governing board of the NCI, where she represents the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

The Food Soybean Team visited several NFGSA suppliers in the region, including the Brushvale Seed, Inc. in Breckenridge, Minn.; Richland IFC, Inc., Dwight, N.D.; SB& B Foods, Casselton, N.D.; SK Food Specialty Processing and SunOpta Company, Moorhead, Minn.

The Feed Team toured the NCI Feed Production Center; Alton Grain Terminal and the Peter Lovas family farm, Hillsboro, N.D.; NDSU Greenhouse Complex; Case IH Plant, Fargo; Colfax Farmers Elevator and the Jay Myers family farm, Colfax, N.D.

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops. NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.