‘See For Yourself’ Mission Provides Firsthand Look at U.S. Soy Exports

The United Soybean Board recently traveled on a “See for Yourself” mission to Colombia and Panama. The mission allowed farmers to see how soy checkoff investments impact other parts of the world and provide a return on investment. Philip Good, a Mississippi farmer, says it was very educational.

“I had the opportunity to lead a group of young farmer participants that are just an outstanding group of young farmers from various states, and we had the opportunity to journey to Panama and Colombia, where we saw firsthand the Panama Canal. We visited an aquaculture farm, a fish processing plant, and a feed mill.”

One of the best parts of the trip was seeing the results of checkoff investments.

“It was great both for me and for the participants to see the projects that we’ve invested in to increase demand. So, I’m a catfish farmer, and I have the opportunity to see what nutritious, sustainable soy does for my catfish, but then we were able to see what it did for another country. Last year, being able to see soybean meal being loaded on ships for export to Colombia, and it was a great opportunity to see where it actually landed. Visiting this aquaculture farm, we were able to see the efficiencies there, hear what they’re doing, and then actually see that product all the way through the processing plant. Soybeans are giving employment opportunities, it’s helping producers there, and it’s providing food.”

As a catfish farmer, Good says their aquaculture farming was especially interesting.

“There difference there is these are actually a raceway system, so it’s very much high-tech where they are concentrating the fish, increasing the oxygen, increasing feeding rates, and increasing the use of U.S. soymeal. All those are helping to drive our demand for U.S. soybean meal here in the United States.”

For more information on the application and to read blog posts of the farmer participants, visit