Talks were inclusive said Ray Gaesser, ASA president and soybean farmer from Corning, Iowa. “We talked about ways to help each other and improve the markets overall so we can all benefit. There was talk about technology approvals – in China, in particular, and the EU.”

Gaesser also brought up the farm visit as educational. “We asked, ‘So, 20 years ago what do you wish you’d have done to avoid some of the unfortunate events and consumer attitudes towards biotechnology?’ They all said they wished they’d been more proactive in sharing the farmers’ message and value of the way we farm and why we do what we do.”

While everyone is striving to get as much market share as possible, there is also acknowledgement in the industry that cooperation is necessary.

“One of the things I got out of this is even though all oilseed producers are in competition -- the palm, the soy, the rapeseed – we all realize that we need to work together to meet the increase in demand we’ll have for oil in the near future,” said Laura Foell, USB Meal Action Team Lead and soybean farmer from Schaller, Iowa. “That’s not only in China but other countries too.

“In Europe, they’re going to be writing a new ‘farm bill.’ They will no longer have subsidies for any food crop biofuels. Those will be eliminated by 2020.”

More information at U.S. Soybean Export Council.