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USMEF Meets with Soybean Industry Representatives

Published: May 13, 2011
The leadership of the United Soybean Board (USB) and U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) met this week with USMEF leadership in Denver to get insights into USMEF operations and to better understand how USMEF works internationally.

The visiting soybean industry team was composed of USB CEO John Becherer, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, and USSEC Chief Financial Officer Mike Mattei. They met with Phil Seng, USMEF president and CEO, along with a number of other USMEF staff representing operations, finances, marketing, membership management, communications and market access.

“USB is invested in this (USMEF) program,” said John Becherer, USB chief executive officer. “We first partnered together in 1996 or 1997, and I came away then impressed with how USMEF manages itself and our (Checkoff) funds.”

Becherer noted that USB conducted a return-on-investment study 17 years ago to examine the benefit it receives on the Soybean Checkoff funds it invests in USMEF. The return was $11 for every $1 invested. While that return has declined over the years but remains substantial, he believes it is a function of the fact that “markets are maturing…it is a more sophisticated world today than it was then.”

Seng outlined the steps that USMEF takes to both safeguard funds invested by different funding sources, as well as the efforts made to ensure that the programs they support are scrutinized to ensure they provide benefits to the producers behind the Checkoff dollars.

“We are happy to open our doors – as we do our books – to our funding sources,” said Seng. “We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the soybean industry in support of their biggest customer, the livestock industry that provides the products we market and support through our efforts in 80 countries around the world. We value the close partnership we have with the soybean industry.”