A delegation of soybean buyers from China and Indonesia, hosted by the North Dakota Soybean Council (NDSC), visited farms and elevators in Cass, Steele and Traill Counties on October 2, 2017. The purpose of the delegation’s visit was to build relationships between North Dakota soybean producers and international customers, and to discuss the quality of this year’s soybeans being harvested in North Dakota. The group collected samples of North Dakota soybeans in order to test the moisture, essential amino acids, protein and oil.

The 15 guests visited the NDSC office on the morning of October 2. NDSC CEO Diana Beitelspacher officially welcomed the group and provided an overview of the NDSC, the soybean checkoff, and the North Dakota soybean industry. The daylong soybean tour of the Red River Valley included visits to Maple River Grain and Agronomy, Casselton; Joe Morken’s family farm, Casselton; Jim Thompson’s family farm, Page; Jason Mewes’ family farm, Colgate; Mike Satrom’s family farm, Galesburg; and the Alton Grain Terminal, Hillsboro. North Dakota soybean farmer Joel Thorsrud of Hillsboro met the group at Alton.

“We are always happy to show and discuss the quality of our North Dakota soybean crop and build relationships with our important customers,” says NDSC Chairman Joe Morken. “We are also proud to provide North Dakota soybean samples to these visiting, major feed and food buyers, so they can see exactly what they are buying: an abundant, safe, clean and quality product for their families, companies and fellow consumers.”

About 1.936 billion bushels of U.S. soy were exported to customers around the world during the 2015-2016 marketing year. The value of these exports came to a record of more than $24.8 billion. In 2016, North Dakota produced 249-million bushels of soybeans. Exporting is a key element for North Dakota soybean producers because over 90 percent of the soybeans harvested in North Dakota leave the state. Approximately 70 percent of the soybeans grown in North Dakota are shipped to the Pacific Northwest and are destined for Southeast-Asian markets.

“Time spent in-person with our customers is an essential piece of what we do to promote North Dakota soybeans,” says NDSC Director of Market Development Stephanie Sinner. “We really appreciate our soybean farmers taking time out of their busy harvest season to visit with our trade delegation and talk about their farming operations. For many of our guests from overseas, this is their first time on a farm, so getting to know our farmers one-to-one is invaluable for our industry.”

North Dakota soybean farmers are represented on the North Dakota Soybean Council’s board which oversees a grassroots promotion, research and marketing program that is funded with soybean-checkoff dollars. The council’s mission is to effectively invest and leverage North Dakota soy-checkoff resources in order to maximize the benefits of North Dakota soy. The council is organized by North Dakota’s state law.

Kevin Satrom, Galesburg, gives the guests combine rides.


Hillsboro soybean farmer Joel Thorsrud answers a buyer’s questions.