Research Highlights

Research Highlights
Kentucky checkoff dollars foster more exports of U.S. poultry and eggs

By Kentucky Soybean Board

Kentucky Soybean Board (KSB) and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) have enjoyed a productive part­nership since 2008 to promote the export of U.S. chicken, turkey, duck, table eggs and processed egg products to markets around the world including Mexico and Southeast Asia. The rela­tionship between the groups is based on a simple premise – the more U.S. poultry and eggs that are exported, the more demand for U.S. soybean meal and corn.

“USAPEEC does an exceptional job of solving trade issues worldwide for our poultry industry which in turn helps the Ken­tucky soybean industry,” says KSB Director Tim Thomas, who is Kentucky’s USAPEEC representative. “The more birds that are sold, the more soybeans are used to help our markets.”

The U.S. poultry and egg industry is the largest user of U.S. soybeans and corn, accounting for 55 percent of all the soybean meal produced in the United States and 13 percent of U.S. corn.

Farmers may not realize the amount of soybean meal and corn used by the poultry and egg industry annually – about 1 billion soybean bushel-equivalents – is more than the entire annual soy­bean production of the states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois combined. As for corn, the volume used by the poultry and egg industry each year is 2 billion bushels.

“KSB has been generous in its support of our efforts to increase exports of U.S. turkey products in Mexico in FY16,” said Greg Ty­ler, vice president for international marketing at USAPEEC.

As the largest market for U.S. poultry exports since 2010 with an equivalent of 33.8 million soybean bushels valued at $1.03 bil­lion, Mexico continues to show growth opportunities, particularly in the meat-processing sector.

USAPEEC, through its Mexico office, is working closely with KSB and soybean boards from Ohio, Illinois, and Kansas on a multi-phase project to teach processors how to diversify their product lines and to create new convenience items that appeal to the Mexican palate while using U.S. poultry.

This year, KSB dollars allowed USAPEEC to conduct two culi­nary contests focused on turkey meat. The first one took place at the Centro de Gastronomia y Sazon (CGS) in Toluca, Mexico, attracting 33 students in the CGS culinary program.

As part of the CGS culinary contest, the students were divided into teams of three. Each team was given the same ingredients to prepare their dishes and could select from ground turkey or turkey breast to use as the main protein. Dishes were judged on taste, innovation, and likelihood of usage in a large catering menu.

USAPEEC Mexico chef consultant Angeles Urreta gave a pre­sentation on U.S. turkey’s nutritional characteristics and cooking methods to the third year culinary students prior to them taking to the kitchen to prepare their dishes.

“During the contest, the students said that they had never cooked turkey meat in any other way than preparing a whole bird for Christmas,” said Chef Urreta. The contest served as a good practice for them to introduce healthy turkey meat into their dishes, especially thinking that they are only one year away of being part of the Hotels, Restaurants, and Institutions (HRI) industry in Mexico.”

USAPEEC’s Leah Cochran Mulcahy, who oversees USAPEEC’s turkey pro-motions, joined Urreta to judge the en-tries.

“Chef Angeles and I were amazed at how innovative the dishes were despite all of the teams using the same ingredi-ents,” said Mulcahy. “The students did an amazing job under tight parameters.”

The winning dish was pan seared turkey breast with chile poblano sauce. The second place finisher was turkey meatballs covered with amaranth (pic-tured during preparation above and plated to serve at right), and third place was chile guajillo with turkey meat.

The second culinary contest took place at the AS-PIC Institute in Mexico City and gave the students opportunities to develop innovative dishes made up of turkey meat that could be produced at two industrial kitchens – Royal Table, a catering company with six branches in Mexico that serves 500 to 800 customers weekly, and Nocaltzin, an industrial kitchen serving 300 daily.

“By developing new products and teaching leading processors how to incorporate the products into their production, there will be more U.S. poultry imports into Mexico,” said USAPEEC Mexico Marketing Manager Alma Lilia de Leon.

As a result of the KSB-sponsored contests Nocaltzin decided to launch the turkey breast mushroom duxelle recipe developed by the third place winner. Nocaltzin, which feeds children in poverty, will increase its monthly consumption of turkey meat by 150 kilos, thanks to this new product launch.

Just in the last year, the overall multi-phase meat processors program has allowed USAPEEC to help four processing plants launch five different poultry products to the market, generating about 2,500 tons of poultry meat per year.

KSB funds have also paved the way for increasing demand for U.S. poultry and eggs in other markets such as in the countries of the ASEAN region including Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Cam bodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand,  and Sri Lanka. For example, KSB helps USAPEEC add important trade requirements and activity updates to the regional website which facilitates increased trade contacts and export sales.

USAPEEC estimates that if the U.S. can export just 1 percent more U.S. poultry and egg products due in part to the KSB- sponsored projects then 1.3 million more soybean bushels will be used in the U.S. or 36,000 soybean bushels from Kentucky.

“Without the funding support from soybean farmers in Kentucky, USAPEEC would have been unable to make such important strides in Mexico and Southeast Asia,” Tyler said.

In 2015 about 133 million soybean bushel equivalents (3.6 mil-lion soybean bushels from Kentucky) and more than 271 million corn bushel equivalents (7.2 million corn bushels directly from Kentucky) and were exported through U.S. chicken, turkey, duck, and eggs worth over $4.3 billion. Please visit for more information.

Published: Jan 1, 1970