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USB CEO says it’s important to put all US protein first

United Soybean Board CEO Polly Ruhland says the crop and livestock sectors need to work together when it comes to elevating US protein in international markets.

She discussed USB’s Protein First initiative during Commodity Classic in San Antonio. The campaign was first unveiled during the World Food Prize in the fall.

“The US needs to think about protein as a category when we go into international markets and we need to think about the most sustainable protein in the world, the most reliable protein in the world, and the highest quality protein in the world— be it plant or animal protein,” she says.

Ruhland says she understands the protein category is competitive domestically, but the need for protein internationally will continue to grow in the next 30 years.  

“We want consumers in this country and worldwide to have a choice,” she says. “If they want a choice of proteins and they want to eat a different protein today than they want tomorrow— and we know they do— then US agriculture wants to make sure we give them a choice for every day to eat more protein and to be more nutritionally sound.”

She says the growth potential for US agriculture in the protein category exists overseas.

“And so as a pre-competitive issue, US protein first works for all protein farmers in the country,” she says.

USB is working with USA Poultry and the Egg Export Council to provide toolkits and other materials about Protein First. 

Audio: Polly Ruhland, United Soybean Board

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