Tricounty News

Vietnamese importers see Minnesota as an option

Soybean farmer Paul Simonsen hosts trade team

Vietnamese soybean importers left Minnesota knowing the quality of the soybeans grown here, thanks to a tour across the state that included a stop at soybean farmer Paul Simonsen’s cabin in Atwater.

Simonsen hosted agricultural delegates that are leaders in Vietnam’s soybean importing practices. Their visit to the United States included seeing how soybeans are produced start-to-finish. Before coming to Minnesota, they visited Grey’s Harbor in Washington State to learn about the exporting process and processing plants to show what happens to the beans after they leave the farm. They came to Minnesota to see the soybean fields and equipment used to harvest the crops, furthering the relationship between the two countries.

“I was in Vietnam a month ago touring their facilities and now some of the people I visited were able to come here and see my operation,” Simonsen said. “Minnesota is known for hosting trade teams because our farmers see the importance of international trade and relationships. It sets us apart from our competition.”

While at Simonsen’s, guests took part in a discussion about Essential Amino, networked with local farmers from Minnesota and North Dakota, and enjoyed a home-cooked meal.

“We talk to them in a casual environment and build those essential relationships,” Simonsen said. “One of the visitors said they see the farms on American media and aren’t sure if what they’re seeing is real, but once they visit, they are very impressed with the quality of our product.”

Besides Atwater, the group also visited family soybean farms in Tyler and Danvers and a dairy farm in Morris. While touring the farms, the international guests had the opportunity to ask questions of local farmers about their crops and equipment.

The MSR&PC oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the state’s soybean farmers. The council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. Funds are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.

For questions, more information or to arrange an interview with Paul Simonsen, please contact Allie Arp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call (507) 388-1635.