Nicollet-Sibley farmers get creative to host second annual Soy Sunday Fun Day

Soybeans are everywhere! The legume is found in many of the foods we and byproducts we consume. Soybeans remain one of Minnesota’s most resourceful crops; it’s no wonder they’re called “The Miracle Bean.”

The Nicollet-Sibley County Corn & Soybean Growers board wanted to display the versatility of the crop they grow and promote. Last year, the group hosted its first “Soy Sunday Fun Day” where they brought together consumers across the two counties to communicate the value of soybeans through a soy-based painting class, soy-based snacks and a presentation about the processing of crop and all of its end uses.

“We had such a great turnout last year we wanted to keep the ball rolling,” Nicollet-Sibley County Corn & Soybean Growers Secretary Kelsey Henke said. “However, we wanted to have a little bit of a twist of what we did from last year to keep it new and exciting.”

This year’s Soy Sunday Fun Day, held on March 26 at the Warehouse in Galyord, took a twist on one of today’s latest trends: charcuterie boards. Attendees had the opportunity to select one of five different soy-based stains to create their own charcuterie board. The Nicollet-Sibley growers board collaborated with the Sibley FFA chapter to design and create the boards.

The second annual Nicollet-Sibley County Soy Sunday Funday reached full capacity.

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council Director Gail Donkers, who represents the Nicollet-Sibley district, was in attendance and enjoyed watching checkoff promotions take place at the grassroots county level.

“It is great to see county boards get creative to promote the products we grow,” said Donkers, who farms in Faribault.

Donkers later gave a brief presentation while the charcuterie boards were drying. She introduced herself and her farming operation, highlighted some of the latest checkoff investments and also homed in on all the products that contain soybeans. Accompanying her presentation was a mini soy-based house that demonstrated all the household items that contain soybeans.

“Soybeans really do come full circle. They are in the products we eat, many of the products we buy and in the vehicles we drive,” she said. “They are everywhere, and you sometimes don’t even realize it.”

During a break from the charcuterie boards, attendees enjoyed a personalized cheese class hosted by Christine Leonard of Grater Good LLC.

Leonard was energetic and excited to share her story. Leonard started her career at Redhead Creamery, but her passion led her back to her family’s dairy farm, where she would become the sixth generation to work the land. From there, she founded Grater Good as an avenue to bring together consumers and farmers through food.

“I use cheese as a vessel as a way to have consumers be closer to their food and our farm,” she said.

Through her class, Leonard shared more about the dairy industry, the process of making cheese and pairings to go with the cheeses that she offered. She also tied in soy’s part in the dairy industry.

“Soy is an important part of our dairy’s ration,” she said. “It is a great protein source for them.”

After the class, Fun Day attendees sealed their charcuterie boards and wrapped them to bring home.

“We look forward to bringing new ideas to the table and showcasing all the innovative products soybeans has to offer,” Henke said. “We can’t wait to have another event in the future.”

The Soy Sunday Fun Day reached its maximum capacity with 40 participants.

The Nicollet/Sibley County Corn and Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

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