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AgweekTV: A conversation with the American Soybean Association CEO

The American Soybean Association has a new leader. Ryan Findlay has spent his life in ag. He grew up on a farm and worked for the Farm Bureau before joining Syngenta. One of his, and the ASA's, top goals is expanding soybean exports ... and fight...

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The American Soybean Association has a new leader. Ryan Findlay has spent his life in ag. He grew up on a farm and worked for the Farm Bureau before joining Syngenta. One of his, and the ASA's, top goals is expanding soybean exports ... and fighting the tariffs on soy and other ag products China is threatening to impose in retaliation for U.S. tariff increases.

Spencer Chase had the chance to sit down with him recently.

Spencer Chase: What are the top three, would you say, headline issues for the American Soybean Association, as Congress looks to write a new farm bill?

Ryan Findlay: Crop insurance without question is huge. MAP and FMD. Market Access Program. Foreign Market Development. Those are really big issues for us because we export a lot of our crop. There's a hunger for protein around the world. Soybeans are a great source of that protein. And the market access program, the foreign market development program, allow us to develop markets that, we would call those immature markets, help them understand the value of protein from soybeans specifically. All the way up to a mature market, where we're going to feed, we're going to continue to export our products to Europe, or to other markets that may be mature. That ability for us to promote US products, specifically US soybeans in those countries, those foreign markets, are really important to us.

Spencer Chase: Is ASA satisfied with the level of market access its products have right now, and is there any concern about losing some of the current access that soybeans have around the world?

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Ryan Findlay: Well farmers always want to see more markets available, ha ha ha, and for us, international markets that's no different. Right now we have a huge market in China. We have a really strong market in Mexico. There are markets around the world that we would love to engage in more. We have a good market in Europe, we have a good market in Japan. But with China, our value is fourteen billion dollars, and we are exporting one in every three rows of soybeans to China right now. The amazing part is, there's room for more. I mean, their demand curve for soybeans continues to increase dramatically, and what we're producing, we should be able to sell it there. And so if we can develop that market more, if we can improve that market, that's going to be more exports to China. Is there a concern there? Absolutely.

Spencer Chase: What does the next twenty years of the American Soybean Association look like?

Ryan Findlay: One area that we really want to improve as an association is through communication. What is our communications platform, and what does that platform look like, from a website to social media to digital media, and how can we communicate with farmer members, with elected officials and with consumers? And I think you're going to see a lot from us over the next year,  couple of years, as we pivot to that, and really try and expand our voice on all platforms of communication.

Related Topics: AGWEEKTVSOYBEANS
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