Indiana corn and soybean farmers received a commitment from Taiwan, one of their largest trading partners, to buy their biggest supply of corn and soybeans in the 2018-19 marketing years. In an Indiana State House signing ceremony, witnessed by Lt Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana Corn Marketing Council board director Dennis Maple and Indiana Soybean Alliance board director Mike Koehne signed Letters of Intent this week with Taiwanese leaders from the Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association and the Taiwan Feed Industry Association.
“The letters of intent signed between our organization and the Taiwanese delegation reflect a desire to continue exporting our high-quality soybeans to Taiwan over the next two years,” said Mike Koehne, ISA board member and farmer from Decatur County, Ind. “International trade is a priority for Indiana soybean farmers because we know that it is key to sustaining strong markets for our high-quality products, and we look forward to continuing our trade relationship with Taiwan.”
Since 1998, Taiwan has sent a delegation to Indiana every two years to sign letters of intent to express Taiwan’s desire to continue importing corn and soybeans from Indiana. Taiwan imported nearly $3.4 billion worth of farm products from the United States in 2016, making it the seventh largest market for U.S. agricultural products overall and the second largest on a per capita basis
“Maintaining strong ties with Taiwan is critical to farmers, agribusinesses and other sectors of our economy,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “As the first state in the nation to open a trade office within Taiwan, trade missions like the one today strengthen our relationship and reaffirm our objectives toward the continual improvement of both of our economies.”
Following the signing ceremony, delegation members visited the farm of ICMC farmer-director Ronnie Mohr. Visitors had an opportunity to tour Mohr’s farm and ask him questions about his operation and the current condition of the corn and soybean crop. Following lunch, the group traveled to Bunge, Morristown to tour the Bunge soybean processing facility.
“An important aspect of our work with the corn checkoff is building and strengthening markets for Indiana corn and corn co-products, and we know that international trade will continue to be a vital market for our crops,” said Dennis Maple, ICMC board member and farmer from Greentown, Ind. “The Taiwanese delegation not only met our state’s agricultural leaders, they also had an opportunity to visit Ronnie’s farm to see where the products they buy are coming from and learn about the technology and people who make it possible for us to produce high-quality agricultural products.”
Prior to the Indiana visit, the Taiwanese delegation signed letters of intent during a signing ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C and attended a reception with government officials and representatives of the agriculture industry, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA).
Members of the Goodwill Mission also traveled to Iowa and Missouri to sign letters of intent with those states’ governors, tour farms and elevators and meet with local producers, agriculture groups and policymakers.