MURRAY COUNTY - More than two dozen members of a swine delegation from China now have a healthier understanding of Minnesota soybean production and its role in healthy hogs thanks to a recent visit to southwest Minnesota.
The international trade delegation, comprised of nutritionists, purchasers, and researchers, was in Minnesota as part of a nine-day visit to the Midwest to learn more about soybean and swine production practices. The delegation was hosted by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) in conjunction with the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
The day-long visit on June 12 began with presentations from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Soybean and the Minnesota Department of Health. It also included a visit to Ralco Nutrition in Balaton. Ralco Nutrition kicked off the day with a presentation, which was followed by information from the Board of Animal Health and a presentation from Sam Ziegler about amino acids from soybeans.
PIctured are Richard Han, technical director with the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Sam Ziegler, director of market development for Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and Jon Knochenmus, president of Ralco Nutrition, Inc.
"We're glad they were here," said Jim Hedges, vice president of Ralco's Swine Technical Group. "They were very interested in the technology we're using and we were happy to share it with them." Ralco provides advanced technologies for agriculture through animal nutrition, animal health, and enhanced plant performance.
The delegation also traveled to the CHS feed mill in Tracy to learn more about feed production and the safety practices followed by the employees when grinding and mixing feed ingredients for swine rations.
A visit to CHS variety seed plot allowed the delegation to learn more about the purpose of the trials and the research gained from the plots. The final stop for the group was at the Murray County crop farm of Bryce Peterson near Garvin, where the Peterson family showed the group first hand the type of equipment used to plant and harvest soybeans - which was the highlight of the trip for many in the delegation. The group was joined by dozens of members of the Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers Association.
"This group was very engaged and wanted to learn as much as they could while they were with us," said Sam Ziegler, director of market development for Minnesota Soybean. "With China as one of our largest buyers of soybeans, this was an excellent opportunity for us to further develop our relationship with them."
The MSR&PC oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the state's soybean farmers. The council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. Funds are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.
- Submitted by Ralco