Newsletter USSEC

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Connections & Collaborations

Preparations are underway for June as representatives from the Soy Excellence Center’s (SEC) Global Advisory Panel and select Grower Leaders are expected to meet with our Regional Advisory Councils and colleagues from SEC Americas, the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA), and Sub-Saharan Africa. The intention of these sessions is to deepen our understanding of current SEC initiatives, explore future opportunities, and enhance collaborative efforts Such interactions are also vital to aligning purpose, strengthening connections, and reinforcing efforts to elevate global preference for U.S. Soy across the world.

To shine a spotlight, this edition focuses on the work being done by the SEC Americas, including insights from an SEC instructor from the region emphasizing the value of continuous learning and U.S. Soy. You also get to learn about how this region achieved financial sustainability by encouraging the industry partners to co-fund their employees’ participation in SEC courses.

As always, we remain committed to informing you about upcoming events and learning opportunities across all regions and the latest news from around the SEC world.

We are grateful for your continued engagement and enthusiasm We invite you to explore these compelling stories from our Americas team, each reflecting the commitment and passion that feed and fuel our progress.

Now, let’s dive into these inspiring narratives.

Take Note: Know someone we should celebrate? Tell us who, and before you know it, you may see them in an upcoming edition of Tomorrow Solvers

April 2024

Dr Luis Miguel Gomez, a trailblazer in animal science and nutrition, has made significant contributions as an educator and mentor With degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, a Master’s in Biology, and a PhD in Animal Science, Dr Gomez co-authored a notable veterinary immunology book and served as the Technical Director for Latin America at PatentCo, a global leader in animal feed and supplements In 2024, Dr Gomez joined the SEC Americas as an instructor for the program’s poultry track He brought his extensive academic background and international industry experience to guide the next generation of protein professionals in Latin America

Earlier this year, SEC Americas enlisted Dr. Luis Miguel Gomez to deliver basic level in-person training to nearly 100 small-scale producers in rural Colombian communities, in collaboration with SENA, Colombia’s National Learning Service agency.

This training is part of a special initiative started in 2024 by the SEC Americas, which complements the conventional programming for young professionals from mid-to-large-sized animal enterprises across Latin America. Dr. Gomez also led an in-person poultry production training session in early April 2024.

Dr. Gomez’s vast industry experience and commitment to continuing education are key to his effectiveness in delivering SEC training on poultry production fundamentals. His teaching method focuses on imparting knowledge and making it accessible and relevant. Dr. Gomez emphasizes his educational philosophy: “Teaching should never be about seeking to impress students with one’s intelligence or experience, but rather about equipping students with valuable and clear knowledge that can serve them well in life.”

Dr Gomez’s extensive consultancy experience across Latin America’s poultry, swine, cattle, pet, and aquaculture industries uniquely qualifies him to make significant contributions to the SEC Americas training His ability to adapt his instruction to diverse audiences from small-scale poultry farmers in rural Colombia to young technical staff at larger corporations ensures that his training is practical, relevant, and impactful for all participants

One of the most profound aspects of Dr. Gomez’s teaching is his personal connection with his students. He fondly recalls feedback from Mrs. Rosalba Benavides, a small-scale poultry producer from Pacho, Colombia. After attending a course conducted in partnership with SENA in March 2024, she expressed renewed faith in education, telling Dr. Gomez, “You gave me back the hope to study,” underscoring the transformative power of SEC training.

Looking ahead, Dr Gomez emphasizes the significance of personal and professional growth “Definitely investing in oneself is the best investment one can make,” he advises potential students, praising the high quality of the SEC Americas program Dr Gomez also highlights the broader value of U S Soy and SEC training, emphasizing the need to consider it beyond price as he says: “When selecting suppliers of animal protein production inputs like soy, companies have a lot of power At the end of the day, however, it should not just be a question of price but of value Choosing U S Soy means buying soy and supporting the U S Soy Export Council [USSEC], an organization dedicated to developing the industry’s workforce, training young farmers and professionals, and enhancing their competitiveness ” He encourages animal protein and feed companies to seek strategic partnerships and collaboration with USSEC and the SEC Americas to further boost industry competitiveness and sustainability.

Since its 2021 launch, SEC Americas has significantly expanded under the leadership of USSEC Americas Director Carlos Salinas and SEC Americas Center Lead Moises Huerta. Initially offering just two courses to 60 trainees, the program now operates throughout Latin America and is making giant strides toward its strategic goal of financial sustainability. It has built a strong reputation and impact, securing co-funding from 80 key regional partners, including companies, industry associations in animal protein and feed, and governmental agencies. Encouragingly, these partners are increasingly investing their own resources to support the continued development of early-to-mid career professionals through the SEC program.

In 2024, the SEC Americas launched two key financial sustainability initiatives The first involved creating a specialized SEC training program for small-scale producers in Colombia developed in collaboration with SENA, the National Learning Service Agency SENA is responsible for workforce development, this agency supports the rural underserved, including poultry, swine, and aquaculture producers SENA contributed by offering training facilities and recruitment staff To date, nearly 200 small producers have benefited from four in-person SEC Americas courses in poultry and animal feed production

SEC Americas introduced the second initiative, ‘Take the SEC to targeted markets’, which expanded the delivery of intermediate-level, in-person SEC training to multiple Latin America locations rather than just one This strategy allowed employers to send their top-performing employees, who now cover the airfare, to training sessions in countries like Colombia, Panama, and Honduras SEC training is delivered at agricultural universities throughout the region This approach has not only reduced pertrainee costs for the SEC Americas program but also enhanced collaboration with animal feed and production companies, as well as industry associations

Between March and April 2024, the SEC Americas delivered four in-person courses for nearly 200 small-scale poultry and swine producers in rural communities within the Cundinamarca department of Colombia.

• On April 10-11, 2024, 80 young professionals from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru traveled to Medellín, Colombia, to attend two intermediate-level in-person poultry and feed production courses at the University of Antioquia, a well-known agricultural school These trainees were selected from hundreds of peers for their high scores in basic-level online courses

In 2024, the SEC Americas program is expected to deliver 44 courses (online and in-person) to nearly 5,000 trainees across Latin America and the Caribbean.

In April, SEC launched the Community Pod ‘Focus Series’ on Sustainability This series is designed to engage and educate our digital community about the versatility of U S Soy, enhancing awareness and understanding

Upco g e s

The intermediate in-person courses for swine and aquaculture are scheduled for May 14 and 15, respectively.

The basic self-paced hybrid courses for aquaculture, feed mill, poultry, and swine, are scheduled for May 20

The basic self-paced hybrid virtual swine course began on May 6 The continuing education virtual poultry course is scheduled for May 31

The continuing education virtual poultry course is scheduled for May 16

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

The continuing education virtual poultry course is scheduled for May 11 Asia India Global Nigeria

The basic self-paced hybrid virtual swine course began on May 6 The continuing education virtual poultry course is scheduled for May 31

The basic self-paced hybrid virtual feed mill course is scheduled for May 13

The basic self-paced hybrid virtual poultry and feed mill courses are scheduled for May 5 and May 12, respectively.

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By Region in FY 2023-2024

Mexico ranks

among the largest global markets for U.S. Soy (exports total 4.8 MMT).

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