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Episode 54: How the Ohio Soybean Council and United Soybean Board are Transforming the Soybean Industry with Steve Reinhard

The Ohio Soybean Council is just one of the many farmer-led organizations driving demand for one of Ohio’s top agricultural commodities – soybeans. Collecting checkoff funds from soybean farmers, the Ohio Soybean Council channels these resources towards promoting, educating, and conducting vital research within the soybean industry. 

In this podcast episode, we join Steve Reinhard, a board member for AgCredit and a farmer from Crawford County, Ohio, who has served in leadership roles on both the Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board. Reinhard highlights the various efforts undertaken by these organizations, delving into the innovative products and initiatives introduced – endeavors that are not only transforming the market but making a positive impact on human health and nutrition.

Innovative Products & Technology

With a push for sustainability and innovation, the Ohio Soybean Council has introduced new-use and alternative products making waves in various industries. With a focus on utilizing the different components of soybeans, such as crushed meal and extracted oil, the Ohio Soybean Council has developed products that are not only eco-friendly but also meet the demands of today’s markets. 

“We’re starting to see that with the sustainability push, oil is becoming more valuable,” said Reinhard. 

One significant product that has emerged from this initiative is soybean-based DEWALT bar chain oil, an alternative to traditional petroleum-based products. Developed in collaboration with the Airable Research Lab, this product has found a niche in the wood industry, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Highlighting its success, Reinhard stated major retailers like Home Depot plan to stock it in 200 stores nationwide. 

Another product introduced is a compact packet of grease specifically designed for the fifth wheel of a semi-trailer. First developed in Iowa and then through collaboration with Ohio, this product helps the fifth wheel remain lubricated. 

Reinhard explained, “The encapsulation technology is the part we worked on. So it can stand up to heat so that it doesn’t break down prematurely.” This means that the grease remains effective even in high temperatures, preventing wear and tear on the fifth wheel. 

On a global scale, innovative products introduced by the United Soybean Board are making an impact. Specifically through the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program, which is providing essential nutrition and stability to third-world countries. Ready-to-use food packets are fortified with protein-rich U.S. soy flour to formulate life-saving nutrition. 

“If we can go in with these products, which are soybean-based, there’s enough nutrition in here that just in one of these packets, you have enough nutrition for a person for a day,” stated Reinhard. 

Supplying nutrition to areas facing food insecurity not only addresses immediate hunger but also lays the foundation for long-term stability and economic growth. 

“Once people can know that they don’t have to be worried about their food, then they tend to build their economies,” explained Reinhard. “And as they build their economies, they tend to eat better.” 

This ripple effect of improved nutrition leading to economic development and enhanced dietary habits leads to increased demand for soybeans and their related products, thereby benefiting both the communities in need and the soybean industry as a whole. 

Connecting with Farmers & Consumers

The Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board actively engage with both farmers and the general public to promote awareness about the benefits of soybeans. Reinhard highlighted the different approaches taken to connect with these two audiences. He stated, “One is the farmer members who pay into the checkoff and that’s who we’re really there to serve. And then the other one is the general public and how we can raise awareness and build a reputation with those people as well.” 

To connect with farmers, the Ohio Soybean Council has partnered with agricultural publications such as the Ohio Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net. Through sponsorships, media placements, and even podcasts, the Ohio Soybean Council aims to disseminate information and showcase the work being done in the soybean industry. 

To reach consumers, they have collaborated with the Ohio State University and their athletic programs to create awareness. Reinhard also mentioned partnerships with minor league baseball teams as a way they connect with the broader public. 

On a larger scale, the United Soybean Board has joined forces with the Kansas City Barbecue Association. Through conversations about protein sources and soybean-based ingredients, the connection has allowed them to engage with barbecue enthusiasts and the general public, building awareness around the significance of soybeans in daily life. 

Balancing Supply and Demand

Ohio soybean farmers, along with farmers across the nation, face challenges in the soybean industry. As harvest yields continue to increase, balancing supply and demand will be important in the coming years. 

Reinhard explains that both the Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board are focused on managing this delicate balance. They aim to avoid growing demand too rapidly, as it could lead to a shortage in supply. On the other hand, an excess supply could impact the profitability and productivity of farmers. 

Global production also plays a critical role. Reinhard noted that recent years have seen improved production numbers worldwide, which will likely contribute to a surplus of soybean products.

“I think once we get to the point where sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel are going to be widely produced, which could be five or six years down the road yet, we’ll be able to crush about as many beans as we can grow again,” suggests Reinhard. “But we’ve got to get to that point in that process.” 

Competition from other countries is also a challenge. Countries like Brazil and China are major players in exporting soybeans. While Brazil’s soybean production capabilities are growing, Reinhard underscores some of their current limitations. “Right now, their infrastructure still isn’t fully in place. One of the other things they have an issue with is the high humidity and the ability to store their product for a long time.”

These limitations provide a temporary advantage for US soybean farmers. However, Reinhard emphasizes the need to differentiate US soybeans based on their quality and sustainability. 

“We’re not going to be able to compete with price,” said Reinhard. “So we’re going to have to continue to look at different value methods and how we can create a more robust value for the product that we produce here.” 

Despite these challenges, the Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board are focused on ensuring the long-term viability of the soybean industry. Through innovative products, global initiatives, and connecting farmers and consumers, these organizations are not only creating a more robust value for soybean products but also introducing eco-friendly alternatives and addressing food insecurity.

 Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [01:04] Brenna introduces Steve and his background in agriculture. 

  • [02:14] Steve explains the functions of the United Soybean Board and the Ohio Soybean Council. 

  • [06:42] Steve introduces some of the unique soybean-based products developed through checkoff-funded research. 

  • [11:48] Steve shares his experiences in leadership roles on both the United Soybean Board and the Ohio Soybean Council.

  • [13:22] Discussing soybean research, Steve highlights the Airable Research Lab, a unique soy-based materials research facility.

  • [16:53] Steve explains how the soybean organizations serve both farmers and the general public through various initiatives and collaborations. 

  • [18:58] Steve discusses the biggest challenges facing soybean farmers. 

  • [21:39] Steve describes soybean export challenges, including competition from major players like China and Brazil. 

  • [23:41] Steve shares why farmers should get involved in farmer-led organizations and leadership roles. 

  • [26:08] Steve leaves with his best advice for young and beginning farmers. 

 

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Transcription

Voiceover (00:08): Welcome to AgCredit Said It. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from all parts of the agriculture industry to bring you insights and must have information on all things from farming to finances and everything in between.

 

Brenna Finnegan (00:29): Welcome back to another episode of AgCredit Said It. I am Brenna Finnegan. I am here with Steven Reinhard from Crawford County, Ohio. Welcome, Steven, for joining us.

 

Steve Reinhard (00:43):Thank you. Good to be here.

 

Brenna Finnegan (00:44):Good. You're well versed in this area, in the Crawford County, Ohio area and everything, you're also a board member for AgCredit. So I think you just got nominated-

 

Steve Reinhard (01:00):Yep. Don't have an entire year under my belt yet.

 

Brenna Finnegan (01:04):Close to it. So, well, Steven was born in Bucyrus, Ohio. Reinhard graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural education and economics. Today he owns and operates a grain farm with his wife and brother raising corn, soybeans, wheat, malting barley, and hay. Among his many titles and accomplishments, he served as a Crawford County Commissioner, in the Ohio House of Representatives, on the Ohio Exposition Commission, and as a member of the Ohio Soybean Council, and more recently was named Chairman of the United Soybean Council. And we are happy to have him here. And once again, like I said, he's also a director of AgCredit. At least in this episode, we're going to be talking more about the whole soybean side of things with the United Soybean Council, and Ohio Soybean Council. Steve, why don't you go ahead and explain to us a little bit about the United Soybean Council and what its function is?

 

Steve Reinhard (02:14):Okay. So really, they're kind of one and the same. So we have the Ohio Soybean Council, and then we have the United Soybean Board. So each of those two entities, basically the Ohio Soybean Council collects the checkoff. Half of that checkoff stays with the Ohio Soybean Council, half of it gets sent onto the United Soybean Board. And that happens across all the different states or regions. Not every state has a qualified soybean group. So some of the regions are small enough, they have to kind of team together and have a collective group or organization there. But anyways, that money then is used basically for three purposes, promotion, education, and research. And so that's how we kind of divide those buckets up. We put them into different supply and demand type areas. Obviously, we need to have a supply of soybeans. And then once we have that supply, we need to fill that demand to use that supply up.

 

(03:23):And so those are two of the action team areas we have at the United Soybean Board. And then we break those down into infrastructure and technology, health and nutrition, and then innovation and technology. So we're always looking to make sure that we can move our soybeans. So we work with our river, rail, and roads. And then we also look at broadband capability. So much of our stuff in the cab of the tractor or the combine relies on that internet access. So broadband capability is another thing that we look at and continue to try to build out.

 

(04:08):When we look at innovation and technology, I brought a few products here. Some of those were developed through United Soybean Board support, some of them through the Ohio Soybean Council. We have the Airable Research Lab, which I think we'll talk a little bit about, but it's all about, again, using that innovative purpose. And meal has always been our big product and we've always used that for our livestock feeds, which are our biggest customers, and we continue to even look at new uses for meal and how is that meal better to provide to those younger animals and give them a higher energy content and a better basis to start their growing process than maybe using synthetic amino acids or something like that. So we're always looking at that meal content, how can we improve the protein or amino acid of that particular entity? And then as we even change into high oleic soybeans, can add high oleic meal provide a better tasting pork, maybe give us a little bit more milk fat in our dairy cows? And so just how are those advancements even on that animal side of agriculture?

 

(05:22):And then we look at health and nutrition. It could be plant health, new growing methods, new biologicals are a big deal now, how are these affecting the rate of soybean growth and development? But then also it can be human health, how can soybeans be a nutritious supplement to everyday life? And we have with the Soybean Nutrition Institute a study on childhood obesity and how we can use soybean products to help avoid the childhood obesity problem that we have in our country now.

 

Brenna Finnegan (06:05):That's interesting that you talk about all the research and obviously having the products here in front of us. There's a group of us here in our office that we do this Food for America event that the FFA has put on, and we are actually doing the soybean booth for it. And we do a quick three, four-minute little lesson with a bunch of kids, and the groups just keep coming through, and we talk about soybeans and what they actually go into. And like you mentioned, you have a couple products here. Why don't you go through some of those products and just kind of explain how the soybean contributes to them?

 

Steve Reinhard (06:42):Sure. So the big thing now, well, in the world in general is sustainability. And so one of the things we can do is we can crush a soybean seed and we get meal and we get oil. The meal has always been the big driver in our market, but we're starting to see that with the sustainability push, we are seeing oil becoming more valuable. So we all know about soy-based diesel fuel and heating products. And this first one I have is something that was developed with the Ohio Soybean Council and the Airable Research Lab, and it's a DEWALT bar chain oil. So it's a soybean-based product. You go out to cut firewood. A lot of industry uses it now because if you're in the big wood industry in the Pacific Northwest, I mean, they don't want to use petroleum-based products. So this has become a very good product for them.

 

Brenna Finnegan (07:42):So every good woodsman should have this now?

 

Steve Reinhard (07:48):Yes. And to tell you how fast, I guess, these are catching on, in December when we first got these products, we were giving them away to our customers there at the seed businesses. And you could order it from Home Depot's website. Since December, Home Depot is now going to have this available, and there are 200 stores across the United States.

 

Brenna Finnegan (08:09):Nice.

 

Steve Reinhard (08:10):So that's how big the sustainability thing is coming and pushing along. This other product we have, again, this was developed in Iowa and then in Ohio. It's a little packet of grease for a fifth wheel of a semi. And so you just take those packets out and you put them on the fifth wheel in a couple of different places, and then it keeps that fifth wheel lube so the semitrailer can pivot-

 

Brenna Finnegan (08:38):Yeah.

 

Steve Reinhard (08:38):... on there, and it's encapsulated. The encapsulation part is what we worked on. So it can stand up to heat so that it doesn't break down prematurely.

 

Brenna Finnegan (08:52):Yeah.

 

Steve Reinhard (08:52):And then once it's smashed in place, then it allows it to release the grease and degrease the fifth wheel. A couple other products, I have yo-yo here, which we don't make yo-yos, but we actually make the wood adhesive now to bind the different layers in the plywood. Before, they were formaldehyde-based. For example, if you had any type of heat source, sometimes that formaldehyde would get released and it becomes a health issue.

 

Brenna Finnegan (09:25):Yep.

 

Steve Reinhard (09:25):So we can replace that now, and that's what these yo-yos were made out of was a plywood bounded together with that soybean glue. And then the last thing I mentioned, the WISHH program-

 

Brenna Finnegan (09:38):Yeah.

 

Steve Reinhard (09:38):... I think, which is the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health. And basically, we go into third-world countries, and this is available through the Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board, and basically try to give a nutritious boost to those diets. One of the things, we went to a seminar at the Naval Academy this winter, and it was put on by the WISHH program in a Naval group. And actually, one of the things we see is so much conflict because a lot of people don't know where their next meal's coming from. And if you don't know where your next meal's coming from, it tends to create an unstable environment. So if we can go in with these products, which are soybean, maybe peanut-based as well, there's enough nutrition in here that just in one of these packets, you have enough nutrition for a person for a day. So that helps to get that nutrition aspect into some of these third-world countries.

 

(10:42):And the other thing is, once the people are knowing that they're not worried about their food, then they tend to build their economies. And as they build their economies, they tend to eat better. And of course-

 

Brenna Finnegan (10:52):The ripple effect that-

 

Steve Reinhard (10:54):Yeah.

 

Brenna Finnegan (10:54):... occurs.

 

Steve Reinhard (10:55):And that's how we increase soybean demand.

 

Brenna Finnegan (10:57):These products actually remind me a lot of items that you see on the space shuttle, the dehydrated type meal, and then, of course, it's obviously, like you said, filled with all the nutrients that they need for at least a day, right? So that's interesting. Very cool. And then now I'm looking at these other products too, like the Gear Head, the fifth wheel. So right there's a whole nother industry that you probably tap into with that, not so much necessarily agricultural, but same concept, hooking the truck up and doing the same thing. So very interesting. So now what is your overall role within each of these, the United Soybean Council and then, of course, Ohio Soybean Council? Because you were once president, correct? Of Ohio.

 

Steve Reinhard (11:48):Yep. So basically, over the years, you start as a board member. And then over time, if you want to, you can move up into various leadership roles. And I did that through the Ohio Soybean Council, and then I went on to the United Soybean Board and did the same thing there. And so I still serve as a board member for the Ohio Soybean Council and will for two more years until I'm done at the United Soybean Board, and then I'll be off of both boards at the same time. And so just took an interest in the leadership role at USB as well, and then continued to work my way up through that program. And so last year as vice chair of the United Soybean Board, you were in charge of the Value Alignment Committee, which basically looked at all the investments that we do throughout the course of the year and basically tried to align those with our strategic plan and make sure that we are meeting the needs of the farmers who pay into the checkoff and trying to drive that return back to those farmers.

 

Brenna Finnegan (12:55):Interesting. You had mentioned before, with your tenure on the Ohio Soybean Council, you had the opportunity to work with Airable Research Lab. And obviously, there's a lot of research that goes into all this sort of stuff, product need, how it's created, all that kind of stuff. Can you tell us a little bit more about this and what it does for the industry?

 

Steve Reinhard (13:22):Sure. So the Airable Research Lab is really the only kind of lab of its type that exists out there today. And we looked at a need really for soybean oil and how are we going to go about trying to drive demand for soybean oil and what partners may we want to work with in that space. And so Barry McGraw there who was at Ohio Soybean Council heads the lab. We house the lab at Ohio Wesleyan University, which makes it a nice fit for us and for them because they had extra lab space. And through the rental agreement that we have, we can utilize that lab space, we can utilize some of the equipment they have, and then they can use that money for maintenance and other things as well.

 

(14:12):And then we teamed up with various different number of businesses who kind of had an idea that maybe soybean oil could be used as a replacement or maybe an additive to their product, and that we can kind of do that first line of testing and we can determine, "Well, yes it will, or no, it won't." And if we determine it won't work, then they can either go through another avenue, maybe change a formulation or find a different approach. If it does work, then we can move it on to the next phase of testing. And really, we can do that for them fairly inexpensively and quickly compared to another method that they may have to go through.

 

Brenna Finnegan (14:55):That's interesting. Very interesting. Now talking a little bit about the research, with allergens and things like that, how much research goes into that as far as how soybeans end up in those types of environments or whatnot?

 

Steve Reinhard (15:18):So we have several different groups we work with. One of them is Soybean Nutrition Institute, and that's one of the institutes or the group partners that we work with that would look at especially food allergens and maybe skincare type products. And they would address those types of issues at that level. So the Airable Research Lab, we really aren't looking at that. At this level, we're looking at maybe more of a fluid, a resin, things that soybean oil could go into that would not interact with a person in a way that would cause an irritation or rash. But yes, we do have those other institutes that we work with, and that's a very big deal that we want to make sure that we can prove or disprove any myths that may be out there as well.

 

Brenna Finnegan (16:14):I know a lot of food companies take that very seriously. I mean, I've worked for one in the past, and I mean, one soybean in the load, it was definitely separated and checked and re-cleaned, all that kind of stuff. So definitely good to know that all that is still always looked at and obviously will continue to be looked at. What are the ways that the United Soybean Council and the Ohio Soybean Council connects with the public to share its work and inform them about the industry?

 

Steve Reinhard (16:53):Sure. So there are two different trains of thought there. One is the farmer members who pay into the checkoff and that's who we're really there to serve. And then the other one is the general public and how can we make awareness, build a reputation with those people as well. And so we've done several things on the state level. Obviously, probably one of the most obvious is working with the Ohio Country Journal or the Ohio Ag Net, and some of the different projects we've done there through sponsoring lunch for farmers, different media placements we have in their magazines. I think Dusty does a podcast himself usually with the soybean group. And so just that type of information trying to get out there. And we have a newsletter as well and a magazine that goes out.

 

(17:52):So different things we do is we try to do some workshops around. We have partnered up with Ohio State University and some of the athletic programs and done some advertising around that space as well. And again, a minor league baseball team in Dayton, we've done the same thing with. And that's more of the public interface, not so much the farmer interface. One of the neater things we've done at the United Soybean Board level is we've teamed up with the Kansas City Barbecue Association, and there we go out and we talk with the people who actually do the barbecuing and the competing, but then we also talk with the crowd as well. And it's all about where are their protein sources coming from? What are the protein sources eating? And it all comes back to a large amount of soybean meal. And so that's a good piece there where we can actually tie those two things together. And really, it's a neat educational type program.

 

Brenna Finnegan (18:58):That's interesting. Too bad Matt and Phil aren't here. They'd be getting salivating when you're talking about the barbecue and everything. But what do you see as the biggest challenges facing not just Ohio soybean farmers, but across the nation?

 

Steve Reinhard (19:14):Well, I think that the biggest thing is probably going to be over the next few years, we continue to see yields increase, which is a good thing.

 

Brenna Finnegan (19:23):You mean supply increases.

 

Steve Reinhard (19:25):Yep. And we also have a good demand for the product. The question is going to be as we continue through the next three or four years, will we see supply increase faster than we're going to see demand increase? And that's one of the things we really work on at the United Soybean Board and then the Ohio Soybean Council is how we can keep those two things in check. And you don't want to grow your demand too fast because then people will go to an alternative product if you can't fit the supply, but you don't want the supply to build so much that there, again, your farmers are not able to be as lucrative or productive as they possibly can be either. So I think that's one of the big things we look at.

 

(20:10):We do know that around the world, we've had some production issues in the past. And it looks like this year, maybe the first year and two or three, that we've actually had everybody in the world maybe with a decent production number, which is going to add some bushels to the final amount of product out there. And so that's going to weigh in on factors as well. I think once we get to the point where sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel are going to widely be produced, which could be five or six years down the road yet, we'll be able to crush about as many beans as we can grow again. But we've got to get to that point in that process.

 

(20:57):So sustainable aviation fuel will be a new product. And we're working now with biodiesel and the rail and marine sectors. So those are a traditional biodiesel market. But when we go to a sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel fuel, it's a different process. And you also have some different products out there that you can make those with as well. Corn ethanol would be one.

 

Brenna Finnegan (21:27):Yeah.

 

Steve Reinhard (21:28):And, of course, we're all corn farmers. So that's good for us on that side. But until that point comes, that's probably one of the biggest bottlenecks I see right now.

 

Brenna Finnegan (21:39):And while you talked about the world and all that kind of stuff and competition and demand, what kind of challenges have you seen with that? Obviously, we know China and some of the other countries out there are major players when it comes to exporting and trade and all that.

 

Steve Reinhard (21:58):Well, I just actually got back from Brazil this weekend. I mean, Brazil is a big player and is going to continue to get bigger and probably going to continue to get better. But right now, their infrastructure still isn't fully in place, which is a bottleneck for them. One of the other things they have an issue with is the high humidity and the ability to store their product for a long time.

 

Brenna Finnegan (22:26):Yeah.

 

Steve Reinhard (22:27):So those are two advantages that we have at this point, and we'll probably continue to have for the next few years anyways. But we know they're going to continue to get better. And so we need to continue to differentiate our product. We do have a higher quality product, and then we think we also have a product that's better raised in a more sustainable manner than what Brazil is. So those are two of the advantages I think that we have over them. The big thing is Brazil's going to have to move a large amount of beans in a short period of time. And so we're not going to be able to compete with price for that reason. So we're going to have to continue to look at different value methods and how we can create a more robust value for the product that we produce here.

 

Brenna Finnegan (23:19):Keeping the opportunities coming, essentially.

 

Steve Reinhard (23:21):Yeah.

 

Brenna Finnegan (23:22):Well, you've dedicated your career to leadership. You've talked about your roles within each of these, and then, of course, we went through what you've done in the past as far as politics and that here in Ohio. Why do you feel it's important for farmers like yourself to get involved?

 

Steve Reinhard (23:41):Well, I think one of the most important things in this perspective is if we look at the checkoff, the checkoff was designed by farmers, it's paid for by farmers, and therefore, it needs to be led by farmers. And that's the biggest thing that I see in the checkoff world is if we really want to maximize the return based on the needs that we have, you really have to have the producers out there to do that.

 

Brenna Finnegan (24:08):They're the ones that know the best-

 

Steve Reinhard (24:09):Yeah, I mean, of course, we have a staff and everything to help-

 

Brenna Finnegan (24:13):Correct.

 

Steve Reinhard (24:13):... lead that because we can't be there every day, but we have to set the strategic plan and we have to look at those areas and how we need to do that. And then just in general, I think if you look around at our churches and everything else, I think that the more involved that we can get, the better off we are. And really the way things work, I mean, the unique thing about a farmer, I guess, is you have so many different perspectives that you can look at things. And it just draws a lot more, I think, opinions and maybe methods of approaching problems at different angles than what maybe some other people may have.

 

Brenna Finnegan (25:03):It actually makes it go full circle then. You see start to finish what you're doing and why you're doing it. And I think farmers have the best way of explaining why they do the things that they do. And a lot of people don't understand some of that. And I think them being involved, those who do should show or teach or whatnot.

 

Steve Reinhard (25:26):Yeah.

 

Brenna Finnegan (25:26):So it kind of makes sense.

 

Steve Reinhard (25:28):Well, and I think the other thing too is if we don't tell our story, somebody else is going to-

 

Brenna Finnegan (25:33):Tell it for us.

 

Steve Reinhard (25:33):... imagine it or tell it for us, and that's not usually a good thing. So the more we can be out there and be seen and be heard, and I think it just helps in the long run.

 

Brenna Finnegan (25:44):Yep. Get the correct narrative out there rather than-

 

Steve Reinhard (25:46):Yeah.

 

Brenna Finnegan (25:47):... the wrong one, right? So what advice do you have for young beginning small farmers that have hopes of growing their operation? You've obviously farmed for a very extended period of time and a lot of experience there. So what would you say is something that they should keep in mind going forward?

 

Steve Reinhard (26:08):Well, I think something they need to keep in mind is to be patient. You always want to seek out opportunities and keep your mind open to doing things a different way. 10 years ago, you didn't hardly see a meat market out there. And now we have several people around that are raising their own livestock and then retailing it out because they've had that kind of vision or whatever to be able to do that. And the other thing, I think, is quality. I think the days of worrying about quantity, of maybe covering a number of acres are not going to be as important as the quality of the product that you raise. And I think that's the big differentiating product that we're going to have going forward is our quality is going to be good. And if you're raising that beef animal for a retail sale, you want to make sure that it's the best product that person can buy because if it's not, they're going to go down the road and look for the next one.

 

Brenna Finnegan (27:17):Other options.

 

Steve Reinhard (27:19):And so I think quality is going to be a bigger thing than quantity. And then just realizing that you need to be patient, kind of look around and be open to new ideas. And there's going to be a lot of different products, I think, coming down the market or line we're going to be growing in the future that we are not looking at today. And like I said, if we go down the line of sustainable aviation fuel and a couple of the other ones, we're going to have to have more products out there to produce oil than just soybeans. And so there's going to be some other opportunities, I think, coming in that area as well. And so those are going to be some opportunities coming in. And sometimes they'd carry a little more risk and they carry a little more time, and you have to be a little more precise with them. They're not all just easy to do-

 

Brenna Finnegan (28:12):Yep.

 

Steve Reinhard (28:12):... but I think that's a way that younger people get started, and then things always change, and that's one constant that we all have to deal with.

 

Brenna Finnegan (28:25):Now you've obviously done a lot of collaboration as well. So I would assume that keeping in mind for the young beginning small farmers, find those people that you want to collaborate with. And obviously with you being in all of your roles, there's been a lot of it going on. So I would assume keeping up that collaboration, getting involved in these groups and things like that as well.

 

Steve Reinhard (28:48):Definitely. And that's always a good group to... Once you get that kind of collaborative group out there, it kind of gives you sometimes a sounding board to bounce ideas off of. And you don't know that when you go in and talk with somebody, they may have somebody that they deal with in another space that can actually help you do what you want to accomplish. And so sometimes being able to kind of broaden out your circle a little bit and look at somebody who's doing something that you think is interesting, and maybe that's not what you want to do, but you want to get some of the background and how did they start that process. And it's just an interesting thing that you can put in the back of your mind and maybe you'll be able to use that at a later date to-

 

Brenna Finnegan (29:41):Ask those questions, right? Well, Steve, we want to thank you for joining us today. We appreciate you coming in recording for us and giving everybody a little bit more insight into some of the groups that are out there that help drive what our farmers are doing every day. So once again, thank you for joining us and we will see you again on another episode of AgCredit Said It.

 

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