Farmers see firsthand benefits of checkoff dollars in Colombia

Farmers representing Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council say they are seeing the value of checkoff dollars firsthand in Cartagena, Colombia.

Several checkoff organizations are sponsors of U.S. Meat Export Federation’s 2023 Latin American Product Showcase—including Indiana Soybean Alliance, Illinois Soybean Association, United Soybean Board, Nebraska Soybean Board, and Texas Beef Council.

Carey McKibben, chair of the ISA Market Development Committee, says the event has reaffirmed the value of multiple checkoff organizations combining resources to showcase the advantages of U.S. products.

“It’s so much bigger than what you could do alone and then also that seeing the products here and how much they want U.S. quality and products,” he says. “And we just need to make sure we can consistently deliver the quality and the quantity they need.”

McKibben is a corn and soybean grower from LaGrange, Indiana.

Joe Stoller is an Indiana Soybean Alliance board member and farmer from Bremen.

“We’re seeing basically where our checkoff dollars are going for this program down here and seeing it facilitate the buying and the selling of U.S. pork and beef and that’s exactly where our soybeans are going in the states,” he says.

Ron Hensley, an Indiana Corn Marketing Council board member and a corn and soybean farmer from Daleville says, “I think it’s been very informative with the USMEF is doing with the checkoff dollars in trying to build relationships with Colombia (and buyers in the region) and they’re doing a very good job.”

ISA Board Member Jenna Scott produces corn, soybeans, and vegetable transplants in Gaston, Indiana.

“I think it just helps telling our stories and how we raise the crop that then is fed to these animals,” she says. “When they get to shake our hand and know our name and talk about our farm, it helps to have a story to tell when they’re trying to sell those products.”

In 2022, U.S. beef and pork exports used 35.7 million bushels of Indiana corn. Corn revenue back to the state generated by pork exports totaled $241 million. U.S. beef and pork exports contributed $192 per Indiana corn acre.

In 2022, U.S. pork exports used seven million bushels of Indiana soybeans. Soybean revenue back to the state generated by pork exports totaled $104 million. Pork exports contributed 13% of bushel value at $1.94 per soybean bushel value.

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