Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann’s Delegation to Asia visited Korea during their two week trade mission and met with representatives from the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and U.S. Grains Council (USGC) at a reception for Indiana and South Korean agriculture leaders. “The Indiana soybean and corn representatives enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the USSEC and USGC staff while in South Korea and learn about their efforts to build new corn and soybean markets,” said Shelley McDaniel, treasurer of Indiana Soybean Alliance and farmer from Boonville, Ind. “As Korean markets for corn and soybeans continue to grow, ISA is pleased to be a member of Lt. Governor Ellspermann’s delegation to Asia to represent Indiana soybean farmers.”
In addition to McDaniel, Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) President Dennis Maple of Greentown, Ind. and ISA/ICMC Director of Grain Marketing programs Rosalind Leeck also served as members of the delegation.
While in South Korea, Lt. Gov. Ellspermann’s delegation encouraged the country’s agricultural leaders to look to Indiana for quality soybeans, corn and related products. USSEC and USGC staff in South Korea are responsible for promoting and developing markets for U.S. soybeans and corn.
“To support a growing economy in Indiana, we must continue to develop more business relationships in all parts of the world,” Ellspermann said. “The agricultural trade mission is helping us build on the strong trade relations that Indiana already has with Korea and allowing us to enhance our global leadership in agriculture.”
The U.S. exported 20 million bushels of soybeans to South Korea in 2013, 54 percent of the country’s whole soybean imports. Historically, the U.S. has a strong relationship trading corn to South Korea, which consumes about 300 million bushels each year and USGC is working to strengthen that relationship and increase the market in the country for products like DDGS.
ISA and ICMC – the state’s soybean and corn checkoff organizations – are working to inform countries throughout Asia about the quality of Indiana corn and soybean products available for trade, including soybean meal. In May, ISA and the U.S. Soybean Export Council hosted a program in South Korea for feed manufacturers and nutritionists to learn more about U.S. soybean meal.
“The presence of Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council on this trip has enriched our conversations with our trade partners throughout Korea and shown new ways we can strengthen and grow our business relationships,” said Ted McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “Being a global leader in agriculture takes a team, and we appreciate ISA and ICMC’s commitment to this goal.”
In addition to South Korea, the trade delegation visited Japan and Taiwan during the 12-day trip which ended on June 27.
“Our visit to Korea with Lt. Gov. Ellspermann reflects the growing trade relationship between Indiana and Asian countries,” said Maple. “As a long-time market for U.S. crops, Korea offers Indiana corn farmers new opportunities for trade relationships and ICMC is actively pursuing those prospects in cooperation with the U.S. Grains Council. We are pleased that our efforts come with support from local and state leaders.”