OK Grower, ASA Board Member Pam Snelson Talks on Soy Industry's Resiliency in Tough EconomyTue, 05 Mar 2019 12:24:33 CST
During the 2019 Commodity Classic held this past week in Orlando, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Pam Snelson, a soybean producer from Wann, Okla. and member of the American Soybean Association since 2015. Snelson shared her thoughts and perspectives on the current state of the soybean business as an industry leader experiencing the same hardships as other producers across the country faced with one of the toughest economic periods in the ag sector since the 1980s. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Like the average American farmer, one issue that is of particular concern to Snelson currently, is the prospect of putting ongoing trade tensions with prominent global trade partners to rest and alleviating the resulting pressure of retaliatory tariffs that have been intensely harmful to the US soy industry. While times are difficult, she says she is fully confident that President Trump and his administration is working in the best interest of America’s greater economy and toward that goal of ending the trade war with China.
“We believe President Trump is moving forward on that… we’re hopeful. But, we do spend a lot of time in DC talking to legislators seeing what they can do from their end to try to push our trade negotiations forward,” she said, alluding as an example to a trade promotion trip to Taiwan planned for this coming April that she will be attending as a guest of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service. “That’s to try to negotiate some trade for soy there. We’re constantly looking for new markets as well as remaining hopeful that our China markets will come back online soon.”
What is true in Taiwan is true around the world, Snelson says, insisting that customers worldwide are looking for and need quality soy. As a producer, she is familiar with the product produced here in the US and plans to share that message with the potential customers of Taiwan. It is a message she says the ASA is broadcasting everyday to customers around the world.
“We want them to know that the US produces the most affordable, most sustainable and highest quality soy in the world and we’re committed to keeping the chain alive,” she said. “They know that anytime they buy from us, it will be a constant, continuous source.”
Recent reports, though, show that in these depressed economic times, more and more acres are shifting from soybeans to corn. Snelson acknowledges that while the price of soybeans has forced many farmers to make such decisions, she believes ultimately that they will return to the crop once certainty in the market is restored.
“If we can get the trade negotiations taken care of, I believe it will go back,” she said. “Soybeans have been a constant source of revenue and I honestly believe the acreage will eventually go back to soy - although it may take a couple years.”
As a former international accountant in the oil industry, Snelson understands that farms are no different from any other business and must remain financially viable to survive. With her financial savvy acquired during her former professional experiences, she says she is often called upon to add her unique and business-focused perspective to important discussions as the ASA leads its industry.
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