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Northern Crops Institute presents food-grade soybean course for importers

Twelve food soybean buyers and processors from Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan attended the Food-Grade Soybean Procurement Management for Importers course held Oct. 14-18 at Northern Crops Institute on the NDSU campus. The course was co-sponsored by the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association, North Dakota Soybean Council and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.   

The course was designed to give the participants an overview of the quality characteristics of U.S. northern-grown food soybeans, as well as the intricacies of buying, handling and shipping food soybeans from the region. 

“The NCI is delighted to offer our first Food-Grade Soybean Procurement Management for Importers course,” says John Crabtree, assistant director of the institute and course coordinator. “We have offered procurement courses for the past 30 years, but this particular course addresses food-grade soybeans. Farmers in this region of the Upper Midwest, particularly North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, have been raising specialty soybeans since the early 1980s. We have a number of processors here in the three states who work very closely with the producers in contracting these specialty beans. The industry has done very well in developing relationships with overseas companies, especially in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and other Southeast Asian countries.”

The class featured site visits to regional soybean-affiliated businesses including Brushvale Seed, Inc., Breckenridge, Minn.; SK Food International, Fargo; S B & B Foods, Casselton, N.D.; and the BNSF Intermodal Facility, St. Paul, Minn.

Speakers at the course included: Gene Griffin, Global Innovative Solutions; Mark Halverson, SunOpta Grains and Foods Group; Paul Holmen, Brushvale Seed Inc.; Thunyaporn (Naggie) Jeradechachai, Northern Crops Institute crop quality specialist; Mike Krueger, The Money Farm; Robert Maddock, NDSU animal and range science department; David Morken, Unity Seed Company; Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension Service; Joel Owen, SK Food International; David Saxowsky, NDSU agribusiness and applied economics department; Robert (Bob), Scott and Todd Sinner, all SB & B Foods, Inc.; Jennifer Tesch, SK Food International; and William Wilson, NDSU agribusiness and applied economics department.

Topics covered in the course included an overview of Midwest agriculture; growing and handling of specialty soybeans; soybean grading standards and quality characteristics; food safety and traceability; world and U.S. soybean production and outlook; commodity analysis; basic soybean hedging principles; cash and futures markets; basis and spreads; soybean export handling and intermodal transportation system; and soybean pricing alternatives and contracts.

Northern Crops Institute 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. The institute is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.

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North Dakota State University
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