Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer | Peter Mishek
March 1, 2023 | Jeff Hutton
This award recognizes someone who has shown a deep understanding of agricultural issues; supports Iowa soybean farmers through their actions and efforts; and demonstrates commitment to improving the competitiveness of Iowa soybean farmers.
Peter Mishek is the consummate networker, relationship builder and soybean trader who has devoted more than three decades of service to the soybean industry.
In 1996, he founded Mishek Inc., a soybean trade consulting company. He’s also managed projects with a farmer-owned cooperative, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and other industry stakeholders. His merchandising and consulting efforts have built preference and purchases of U.S. soy.
During Mishek’s time pounding the pavement and crisscrossing the globe, Iowa production of the oilseed has increased substantially (from around 400 million bushels to 587 million in 2022), a trend mirrored nationally.
Mishek’s passion for serving soybean farmers, processors and buyers has played an important role in the industry’s growth and success. Along the way, he’s visited more than 57 countries, spent countless hours at 35,000 feet, accompanied hundreds of farmer-led trade delegations and ridden in tour buses on more pot-hole-filled roads than he cares to count.
Recently retired, Mishek is confident soybean farmers and leaders will continue to focus on understanding customer goals — figuring out what they need and how to get homegrown soybeans from field to destination at the best price for them. His decades of service to Iowa soybean farmers and the industry have undoubtedly improved their competitiveness and boosted U.S. soy preference around the world.
“I will always remember the fun the farmers, Iowa staff and I had traveling together,” he says. “There are few jobs or situations where you get to meet such accomplished and friendly people while spending significant time learning about their lives, loves and challenges. We laughed a lot and enjoyed our times with each other and our customers. I made some great friends.”
Mishek says the hospitality of Iowa farmers is something he won’t soon forget.
“I could stop with a trade team from overseas at virtually any Iowa farm, and the farmer would always greet us like old friends despite being busy working and harvesting,” he says. “Farmers’ interests in their customers and their hospitality is genuine and the best marketing tool.
“The award comes as a surprise to me,” Mishek says. “As a consultant, marketer and facilitator, my job has always been to bring Iowa farmers to the forefront. I am humbled and grateful for the farmers’ recognition. Since I have been in the farming service my entire career, either as a farmer’s cooperative trader or as an international marketing consultant to the Iowa Soybean Association, it is nice to know I have made some impact on their business.”
He hopes the work he’s done with and for farmers will resonate with customers in the decades to come.
“My goal has always been to help the farmers and their customers embrace each other’s individual character, expertise, humor and humanity,” Mishek says. “This is the best way to position our product quality. Like putting a crop in, it must be done each year under different circumstances and with different people; it is a lot of work. Hopefully, my legacy will be that Iowa farmers will continue to focus and work hard to make their international customers their future partners and friends.”