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Western Minn. soybean growers host importers from Vietnam

DANVERS — Vietnamese soybean importers recently toured the state, including making stops at the Mike O’Leary farm in Danvers and Paul Simonsen cabin in Atwater.

O’Leary and Simonsen hosted agricultural delegates who are leaders in Vietnam’s soybean importing practices. Their visit was part of a national tour focused on how soybeans are produced start-to-finish. The tour was planned by Ag Processing Inc. and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

Before coming to Minnesota the group visited Grey’s Harbor in Washington state to learn about the exporting process and processing plants to show what happens to the beans after they leave the farm. They came to Minnesota to see the soybean fields and equipment used to harvest soybeans, furthering the relationship between the two countries.

“I was in Vietnam a month ago touring their facilities and now some of the people I visited were able to come here and see my operation,” Simonsen said in a news release. “Minnesota is known for hosting trade teams because our farmers see the importance of international trade and relationships. It sets us apart from our competition.”

While at O’Leary’s farm, the guests were able to tour his soybean, corn and pig farm. Simonsen invited them out to his cabin for a presentation and discussion about essential amino acids and a chance to network with local farmers from Minnesota and North Dakota.

“Not all of our conversations are about soybeans, but the visit is about the overall experience and building that relationship,” O’Leary said. “That is what it’s all about, they won’t forget this trip and we’ll be on their minds when they make purchases.”

The group also visited a soybean farm near Tyler and a dairy farm in Morris.