Ted McKinney, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), welcomed participants of the 2020 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange & Specialty Grains Conference as it kicked off on August 24.
Each year, the GTE provides an opportunity for the entire soybean value chain, from farmers to exporters to importers, to connect with each other to create new business relationships. The 2020 virtual format allows for experiential learning and even broader global participation, including networking opportunities, 360-degree farm tours, and a trade show where attendees can discover how the U.S. Soy and specialty grains industry is an invaluable supplier of choice in the global market.
Speaking to attendees of the virtual event, McKinney told how he had been raised on a farm in Indiana and spoke about his background in and deep love of agriculture. He reiterated the importance of relationships, talking about how USSEC works in markets around the world and that free and fair trade is key to that work.
“We pursue free and fair trade agreements wherever we can find them around the world. “And that’s all we want in the U.S. – we just want a fair chance to promote the value of a U.S. soybean because it’s special.”
As he continued, McKinney explained why he believes U.S. Soy is special. “I think the soy advantage and the four pieces of that are what you need to zero in on because it tells the story about U.S. soybeans.” The four pillars he cited – exceptional composition, consistent supply, sustainability, and innovation beyond the bushel – are the four pillars of the U.S. Soy Advantage.
“I love this industry,” McKinney concluded. “I love the people, their transparency, their honesty, their perseverance in working with you as a key customer and I’m going to be right there with them. . .to help make sure that you get that taste and then sustain your use of U.S. soybeans.”