Farmer-leaders makes decisions to support innovation to build preference for U.S. soy
ST. LOUIS – With a focus on building preference for U.S. soy, farmer-leaders of the soy checkoff met Feb. 15-20 to continue implementation of the checkoff’s long-range strategic plan. The checkoff is working in three areas to meet U.S. soy’s end users’ needs – meal, oil and sustainability.
End users of U.S. soy don’t buy bushels of beans; they buy the components: meal and oil. And checkoff farmer-leaders have plans to improve these products, add value for farmers and build preference for U.S. soy among these end users.
“We have a dynamic plan and really set ourselves on the right track at this meeting,” says Jared Hagert, United Soybean Board (USB) chair and farmer from North Dakota. “We’re really looking at programs that make U.S. soybeans more than just a commodity and help us to better meet our end users’ needs.”
One way U.S. soy is already meeting end users’ needs is through high oleic soybeans. Oil from these varieties provides the stability that many food end users need. By collaborating with DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto, the checkoff is helping make these varieties available in more growing areas.
The soy checkoff continues work on increasing protein, and in turn available amino acids, in U.S. soybeans. This will build preference for U.S. soybean meal among the animal agriculture sector, which already consumes nearly 97 percent of all U.S. soy.
End users are also facing their own demands, especially in the area of sustainability. U.S. soy is sustainably produced and can help end users meet their sustainability goals. The checkoff is working with these end users to let them know what U.S. soybean farmers are doing to be sustainable and to learn what more end users require.
“The time to drive these initiatives forward is now,” adds Hagert. “As a board, we are excited about our work and dedicated to improving profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers.”
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.