Soybean Q&A with Brushvale Seed Producer, Travis Meyer
Agriculture is a leading industry in North Dakota - contributing to the state beyond the GDP. While the state is number one in the production of many crops including honey, spring wheat, durum, and canola, other crops are beginning to make their mark - like soybeans. Currently, North Dakota is ranked #9 in national production behind South Dakota and Minnesota. The North Dakota Soybean Council was established in 1985 to further position North Dakota's soybean market through the utilization of checkoff dollars.GNDC: Tell me about how the check-off structure works and what an organization like ND Soybean Council does for the state of North Dakota?
GNDC sat down with Travis Meyer of Brushvale Seed, a farmer who pays into the ND Soybean Council and soy checkoff, to discuss this subsect of the ag industry and how advances and technology will continue to add opportunities to producers and our state.
In our video question: What is the market outlook for food-grade soybeans if trade with China demand doesn't come back, what does the rest of the market look like?
Meyer: When you talk about the North Dakota Soybean Council, they are a great asset not only to the growers but to all the North Dakota businesses in the soybean industry. They do so much for the industry. They invest one half of one percent of the value of the soybeans at the first point of sale. This is a big contribution and they use it to help producers learn, grow, and compete in the soybean marketplace. They assist with emerging markets in other countries and promoting the use of soybeans for feed. The work they do is an asset to North Dakota and our industry.
In this difficult farm economy, what does the council do verses what Brushvale Seed does as a private company?
The Soybean Council actively seeks emerging markets for us. They will bring groups to North Dakota and to companies like ours so we can meet face-to-face with them and describe the benefits of our product. That is one of the big things that they do for us, besides some of the other things I mentioned earlier. It is a fantastic group and they provide great support to the industry. Once the Soybean Council gets these companies interested, we get to promote our soybeans to them. Selling to these other countries allows us to grow our business and create demand which is good for the soybean industry in North Dakota.
You have told me a little about the Soybean Industry, why don’t you tell me about Brushvale Seed Incorporated.
You know Chris, that is a good question. Brushvale Seed is a family-owned business. I think it is important to a lot of our end users to buy from a family-owned business. We have been in business for 35 plus years. We are a food-grade non-GMO soybean processor. Most everything we produce is shipped to overseas customers. Another piece of our business is getting involved in the production of seed. We have a nice research program which is bringing better products to the farmers. Farmers make up our business, so we need to have high-quality seed for them. In turn, hopefully, the products they are raising will be good products for our customers.
We understand Brushvale Seed is introducing a line of non-GMO high oleic soybeans that have benefits for both food manufacturers and restaurateurs' success. Tell us more about this innovation and how it helps restaurants and the greater North Dakota economy?
That’s a good question you ask, Chris. Brushvale Seed is excited about this high oleic soybean. It is going to be good for the food-grade market, but also for oil. When you talk about high oleic oils, they are an asset to the food industry in general. People are looking for healthier choices in their diet. High oleic oils offer a healthier choice in oil and other benefits. It offers more fry time. By that, I mean that it can be used for a longer period of time before it needs to be changed. That is because the high oleic oil is very stable with a higher smoke point. This is a benefit for both cooking at home and for restaurants that use this oil. I believe that restaurants can get up to 20% more fry time out of the high oleic oil. The high oleic oil adds value products like food bars and healthy snacks by extending the shelf life.
We just had a facility and plot tour. At the end of it we had all of our local growers go to a local restaurant. We supplied high oleic oil to the restaurant and had all of the appetizers cooked in it. The comments were how clean it tasted and the fact that it just had a good flavor. It didn’t have an oily taste to it or get oily as it sits. It is a great product.
How is this soybean different than those of the past?
It is bringing a new product to the market for the growers. We see this creating a premium for the growers above what regular soybeans offer. Processors will pay more for high oleic soybeans so they can produce a better final product. That will benefit our producers.