DAVENPORT, IOWA (September 16, 2013) – How far would you go for high-quality ingredients needed to make your food, fuel and fiber? More than 150 international trade delegates have traveled thousands of miles to the Quad Cities region, where they will network with U.S. soybean farmers and exporters and potentially solidify commitments to purchase U.S. soy.

The first U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange begins today in Davenport, Iowa, welcoming representatives from major soy-importing countries like China, Mexico, Indonesia and more. These foreign delegates represent 50 million metric tons of soy demand, or about 1.8 billion bushels worth.

“The members of the U.S. soy family are thrilled to have such a diverse group of buyers join us for this first-time event,” says Jim Stillman, United Soybean Board (USB) chairman who farms in Emmetsburg, Iowa. “We want to introduce these valuable customers to the heart of the U.S. soy industry. We’ll show them many aspects of our production system, including the fields where we are growing a high-quality product to meet their varied needs throughout the upcoming year.”

Beginning today, international buyers have gathered for the first U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Davenport, Iowa. Hailing from countries like India, China and Mexico, these foreign delegates represent 50 million metric tons of soy or about 1.8 billion bushels.

“Over half of every soybean crop is exported, which makes our relationships with our international customers very important,” says Danny Murphy, American Soybean Association (ASA) president. “U.S. farmer-leaders are very excited to meet with these foreign trade delegates and speak with them about why they should continue to buy U.S. soy.”

The event, which is co-sponsored by the USB, ASA and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), continues through Sept. 18. The event will offer attendees a chance to get a taste of American agriculture through tours of local farms and the John Deere headquarters as well as a river tour of the Mississippi River.

“Nothing beats talking to a customer face-to-face,” says Randy Mann, U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Chairman. “We’re looking forward to showing these trade delegates the care we put into growing a top-quality crop and the efficiency of our transportation system.”

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.