Soybeans were on the minds of university researchers during the 79th annual Minnesota Nutrition Conference in Mankato, Minn.
“Soybeans are an extremely complex and variable commodity,” says University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist Seth Naeve, who works on research projects funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC). “The global draw for soybeans is really a benefit to local growers.”
MSR&PC sponsored the morning session of the Nutrition Conference, “New Innovations for the Use of the Soybean.” Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka delivered the welcome address and highlighted the organization’s dedication to finding new uses for soybeans.
“We’re very excited about the research being done here in Minnesota,” Slunecka says. “New ideas is what enables Minnesota ag to grow the way that it has. MSR&PC has been proud to fund basic research, agronomic research and nutritional research for decades. We’ve spent tens of millions of dollars to make sure those ideas make their way to the farm gate.”
UMN researcher Aaron Lorenz gave a presentation on modifying soybean meal composition through advances in plant breeding technology. To close out the morning symposium, Minnesota Soybean staff directors Mike Youngerberg, Kim Nill and David Kee, respectively, presided over a panel discussion, “What are you looking for from soybean meal.”
During the afternoon session, Minnesota Soybean Director of Public Affairs Joe Smentek talked about his experience as an environmental attorney, and educated the 75-person crowd on how to find common ground with environmental groups.
“You need to find a story that’s compelling,” he says. “If we don’t tell our story, someone else will.”