ST. LOUIS -- Maximizing the profit potential of every U.S. soybean farmer means seeing beyond today; it means driving soybean innovation in products and services to meet customers’ needs tomorrow.
That’s why the farmer-leaders of the national soy checkoff made driving innovation the center of their new, groundbreaking 5-year strategic plan, which will guide all national soy checkoff investments from fiscal years 2017 to 2022.
“We American soybean farmers have had a good run these past few years, but being profitable in the future will mean something different than being profitable in the past,” said United Soybean Board (USB) Chairman Bob Haselwood, who raises soybeans, corn and wheat on his farm in Berryton, Kansas. “We need to focus on meeting our customers’ changing needs, and giving them a reason to keep choosing U.S. soy over increasing competition. That’s what’s going to help us ensure our children and grandchildren will have the same chance to maximize their profit opportunities that we have had.”
The new plan sets its sights on a future in which the U.S. soy industry increases the value of soybean meal for various species, from poultry to pork to aquaculture, and is recognized by customers for its highly desirable attributes such as its superior amino-acid profile and sustainability. The new plan also prioritizes supporting soybean farmers’ use of technological advances to maximize their on-farm profit opportunities, as well as the ongoing development of high oleic soybean oil to increase soy’s share of the edible-oil market.
“We are intensifying our focus on the areas that matter most to farmer-profit potential,” said USB Vice Chairman Jared Hagert, who led a panel of national- and state-checkoff farmer-leaders in drafting the new plan. “The nine central goals of the plan focus on the areas that stand to bring the most value to U.S. soybean farmers, and we worked with others throughout the U.S. soy value chain – state soybean boards, land-grant universities, extension, processors, buyers and customers – to ensure we’re all aligned for the good of the industry,” said Hagert, who raises soybeans, edible beans, corn and wheat on his farm in Emerado, North Dakota.
“USB has always been forward-thinking and strategic in how it invests farmer checkoff dollars,” said Chairman Haselwood. “But the national soy checkoff has risen to a new level with this progressive framework, and the American soybean farmers we serve – our families, friends and neighbors among them – deserve nothing less.”
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.
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