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U.S. Soybean Federation focusing on cap and trade legislation

The U.S. Soybean Federation Board of Directors met last week to continue setting direction for the policy and advocacy organization.

Directors established a new policy priority for the organization: Cap and Trade. Specifically, the board passed a resolution that will begin the process of reviewing existing analyses of Cap and Trade legislation and identifying recommended changes that will improve the competitive stance of U.S. soybean farmers.

"We need to make sure that the final Cap and Trade legislation is good for the environment without being detrimental to U.S. soybean farmers," says Warren Stemme, USSF president and a soybean farmer from Chesterfield, Mo. "As producers we have to protect every competitive edge we have in the global marketplace and we can't afford for Cap and Trade legislation to negatively impact our current position."

Stemme explained the board was in the process of contracting with an executive director who will be responsible for helping USSF leaders achieve their policy and advocacy objectives, and collaborating with industry to identify additional perspectives on the potential impact of Cap and Trade legislation.

In other business, USSF directors heard an update on checkoff-funded activities from United Soybean Board leaders, including the recent soybean checkoff Request for Referendum results. During the May 2009 request period only 759 producers signed a petition asking for an up or down vote on the continuation of the national soybean checkoff program, significantly less than the 58,918 needed to trigger such a vote.

"We congratulate soybean checkoff state and national volunteer directors on this vote of confidence, but also thank U.S. soybean farmers for understanding the importance of the program," says Jerry Slocum, USSF vice president and a soybean farmer from Coldwater, Miss. "The very first policy objective established by USSF was our support of the current soybean checkoff program, and we're proud that our policy reflects the actions and beliefs of our fellow farmers."

USSF directors also established a new mission statement for the organization during the meeting. The new USSF mission is: Ensure U.S. soybean producers and industry are provided the maximum opportunity for success in the global marketplace through policy and advocacy efforts.

"USSF will continue our focus on policy and advocacy efforts that will have a positive impact on U.S. soybean farmers and the overall competitiveness of the U.S. soybean industry in the global marketplace," says Bill Zurn, USSF secretary/treasurer and a soybean farmer from Callaway, Minn.

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