Soybean checkoff farmer-leaders have recently returned from Vietnam, where they met with leaders in soybean research, importing and processing.

The meetings helped build better collaboration between international researchers and importers and U.S researchers and exporters.

 Members of the United Soybean Board’s (USB) Production Research Committee scouted soybean fields in northern Vietnam before meeting with the Vietnamese vice-minister of agriculture. The team, also joined by Henry Nguyen, director of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology at the University of Missouri, met with several researchers throughout the country to discuss soybean production and composition research that may be applicable to similar research in the United States. 

“The checkoff’s production research program has decided to study other soybean-producing countries and see what we can learn from them,” says Rick Stern, soybean farmer from Cream Ridge, N.J., and chair of the USB Production Research Committee. “The other purposes of this trip were to increase genetic diversity in our soybean varieties here by making a connection to have a germplasm exchange. We also examined what additional marketing opportunities there are for U.S. soybeans in Vietnam.”

In southern Vietnam, USB farmer-leaders met with soybean researchers at the Hung Loc Agricultural Research Center. 

“On this trip, we really accomplished our goals,” adds Stern. “The Vietnamese researchers are very open to the idea of a germplasm exchange that could be used in research to improve U.S. soybean varieties. They are very interested in working with us.”