WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Westbrook — Last Wednesday trade delegates from southeast Asia were on a tour to learn first hand how U.S. farmers raise quality soybeans while caring for the environment.

    The Asian trade team has about 30 food industry leaders from several southeast Asia countries. Representatives visited from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Myanmar (Burma).

    The men and women represented were CEO’s, financial managers, purchasing managers, trading director, and animal nutrition managers.

    For most of the visitors they found the openness of the countryside compared to the countries they come from. One of the visitors said, in  his country many people live in a smaller space, and here there are fewer people living  in greater spaces.

    One of the visitors who represented a seed company in Burma was asked what is the biggest issued in his country? In regards to soybean production he said, “we have a problem with the quality of our seed.”

    The rain didn’t dampen the visitors who looked at the

Scottish Highland cattle being raised by the Nelsen's.

    When the rain began coming down harder the visitors went into the Nelsen’s garage. Bob then took some of the visitors into his office which also houses his toy collection. The visitors snapped a lot of pictures of Bob with some of his toys.

    Meanwhile, in the garage Bob’s daughter, Elizabeth Johnson, showed the visitors some samples of soybean plants and ears of corn which her son Theo and daughter Mady brought in from the field.

    Most of the visitors had never seen ears of field corn before.

    With a growing population of around 4.1 billion, Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent. Continued growth in the Asian continent make this region an increasingly important part of the world economy.

    The U.S. Soybean Export Council, U.S. Department of Ag, United  Soybean Board, and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council sponsored the tour as a way to connect some of Asia’s food industry leaders with Minnesota soybean farmers to show them the value of U.S. soybeans and to encourage them to continue to import U.S.  product.

    While on the visit the group toured the Steve Prokosh’s farm near  Redwood Falls, and the Meadowland Farmers Cooperative in Lamberton.

    The group was also being treated to a camp fire to roast marshmallows and make smores.

    Wendy Wendt  Regional communications Specialist of  Minnesota Soybean said “we wanted to show how the farms in the midwest are mostly family owned and operated. Family is very important to these people.”