Greving appointed to United Soybean Board
Nebraska soybean farmer appointed to United Soybean Board
for The Fence Post
Deeply passionate about sharing the message of U.S. soybeans with foreign agriculture industry partners, a Nebraska soybean farmer is thrilled about being appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the United Soybean Board. During an interview with The Fence Post, Greg Greving of Chapman, Neb., was clearly grateful for the opportunity to represent Nebraska and the nation through old-fashioned handshakes and turning international contacts into friends for life.
It’s not just a dream of Greving’s, who has already been making numerous friends through his business contacts in several southeast Asian countries. Also, on reverse trade missions when international customers traveled to the U.S., Greving has hosted his overseas contacts at his Nebraska soybean farm. And, now that he has turned over the main duties on his farm to his two sons, he has been able to travel more. “There have been times I’ve been gone three weeks at a time promoting U.S. soybeans,” he said.
With his roots firmly planted in the soybean industry, Greving will be one of four Nebraskans on the national board, joining Ed Lammers, Tony Johanson and Ron Pavelka, when he is officially sworn in Dec. 10. “There are four directors representing Nebraska, which is the maximum permitted from a state, and the number of directors is determined by the amount of soybean production,” Greving said.
Greving joins the board comprised of 78 farmer directors from 29 soybean growing states, in addition to the western region which includes a handful of states.
This year, USDA appointed eight new U.S. soybean farmers from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina and South Dakota, and reappointed 11 directors for an additional term.
“I was on the USB board from 2013 to 2016, and I wasn’t re-appointed to serve again,” he said. ”I’ve been trying every year since to get back on the board,” said Greving, who also served on the Nebraska Soybean board from 2001 to 2013.
Greving said he learned the ins and out of the checkoff by going to USB meetings. “I knew a good deal of it though, because the former executive director advised me to go to the USB meetings, even though I wasn’t a director so when the time came, I would already have broken the ice,” he said.
Now, in this second term, he said he’s ready to hit the ground running and focus on international marketing.
In Nebraska, for every $100 worth of soybeans a farmer sells, 25 cents goes to the Nebraska Soybean Board checkoff, and another 25 cents to the United Soybean Board to promote soybeans.
“Greg brings a wealth of knowledge in farming and experience in international trade,” said Scott Ritzman, executive director of the Nebraska Soybean board. “He was active at the state level for so many years, and will bring it to the national level.”
Greving is a close colleague of Colorado’s western region United Soybean Board director Grant Waterman from Vona, Colo. “Grant is a very hard-working custom wheat harvester. His team and he travel the whole U.S. from Texas up into Canada. I also knew Grant’s dad who was a USB director for years, then I got to know Grant.”
Waterman is looking forward to working with Greving on the board.
“I think Greg will be a good asset to the USB and the farmers he’ll represent,” said Waterman, who was appointed last year to the western region, which has one director.
Greving said he learned a lot about promoting agricultural commodities when he was involved in the Nebraska LEAD (leadership, education, action and development) program.
“I’m really excited to be on the board, and I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into three years of Zoom meetings. When I traveled on my LEAD travel study to South Korea, China and Hong Kong, I saw what the soybean, corn, pork and beef checkoffs were doing overseas to promote our products, and that’s what really sparked my interest to become part of a checkoff program,” Greving said.
Lately, soybean prices have been robust, which Greving attributed to a recent USDA report that the carryout, yields and stocks were lower than expected. Also China was not purchasing as much of the crop because of the hogs that were lost to the African swine flu.
“Also, President Trump had a tariff on soybeans, which depressed the market more, and now China is rebuilding their herd, so their demand is going up, and they need more soybeans to feed to the increased number of hogs,” he said
Meanwhile, the U.S. will have some competition in the market from South America, where soybean planting started in mid-November. “Although they’re in a drought, they could get a couple of rains and be back to normal in a short period of time. It’s a supply and demand market,” Greving said.
Greving enjoys meeting in-person with his trade contacts. “I show them pictures of our farm and my family, and they really love that because they’re family-oriented from the word, go.”
He can’t begin to count the number of people he’s hosted from other countries.
“We had a group of 30 Filipinos at our house, and my girlfriend has only been out of Nebraska five times in her life, and she was concerned at first about having foreigners in the house. I told her ’you will love them.’ We hosted them for three hours, and when they left she said, ‘I see why you love going over there. What a great group of people!”
Greving said when he lost his father in June, he was amazed at how many flowers at his father’s church service were from foreign countries. “Everybody who sent flowers had met my mother and father at one time on the Greving farm,” he said. When they came to visit, he took them to the field where they harvested soybeans. “I always invited my parents out to be part of it, and that’s how they all knew my mom and dad. It’s all about the friendships.”
-Hadachek is a freelance writer who lives on a farm with her husband in north central Kansas and is also a meteorologist and storm chaser. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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