Northwest Minnesota variety trial

Shaping the World of Soybeans, One Leader at a Time

With our minds focused on harvest, it’s easy to forget that the 2015 Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) elections are just around the corner, and as always, we’re looking for a few good leaders.

We’re looking for dedicated leaders because farming provides us many challenges. Farmers worry about the weather, basis, inputs, outputs, equipment, insurance and on and on and on. We worry because it’s our business to worry about our livelihoods.

Keith Schrader

Keith Schrader, MSR&PC Vice-Chair

The Council worries, too. Your elected leaders oversee the investment of your checkoff dollars.

As farmers, worrying about the future drives us to look ahead to new technologies and practices and anything that will help us increase yields, be more profitable and better provide for our families for generations to come.

The MSR&PC invests in research to help you increase yield and increase profitability. The Council helps to educate the public. Take biodiesel for example, which made a lot of news this year as Minnesota became the first state in the nation to require 10 percent biodiesel blends (B10) be available at the pumps during the summer months.

Biodiesel has a much bigger story with the Council, however, as several projects throughout the years have helped fine tool and trouble shoot the early days of biodiesel in Minnesota, when we were still learning our way through. Biodiesel is a success story of the checkoff, resulting in 73 cents added to every bushel of soybeans sold.

The Council has also invested considerable checkoff funds to grow markets in China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and other countries across Southeast Asia. In Minnesota, we export every other row of our soybeans to those markets and more. Those markets have meant more customers for Minnesota soybeans, and more money for Minnesota soybean farmers.

The Council is made up of elected farmers from nine districts throughout the state. In 2015, there will be five expiring terms: Districts 1, 2 and 3; District 4; District 7; District 8; District 9.

It’s important for you to know that your elected directors are dedicated to working on behalf of Minnesota soybean farmers. Our directors have both the interest and the time to give back to the state’s farmers. Being an MSR&PC director is an investment in your ideas, your passions, and your time.

If you are an agricultural leader and soybean producer who is interested in helping play a critical role in the development of the Minnesota soybean market, I encourage you to seek candidacy to the Council. I strongly encourage women and minorities to apply, as well. The more diverse the collection of thoughts on the Council, the better investment we can make of all our soybean checkoff dollars.

Interested farmers need to fill out a Biography Form and a Candidate Certification Form. You should also read up on the responsibilities and benefits of becoming and MSR&PC Director.

Have a safe harvest, and feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.