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United Soybean Board to host See for Yourself program

What happens to U.S. soybeans after farmers unload their trucks at local grain elevators or processors? A group of U.S. soybean farmers are about to find out. The United Soybean Board/soy checkoff has selected 10 farmer-participants for the 2012 See for Yourself program, which will give attendees a firsthand look at how and where their soybeans are being used both domestically and internationally. The program, which also offers farmer participants an opportunity to evaluate specific, checkoff-funded research and promotional activities, will be held Aug. 5 to 11 in St. Louis and Guanajuato, Mexico.

The soy checkoff selected 10 farmers who applied to take part in the fifth annual See for Yourself program. These farmer-participants will see their checkoff dollars in action by visiting a number of sites related to the national soy checkoff objectives to improve the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, ensure the industry and soy customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and meet the needs of U.S. soy customers. The locations will also demonstrate USB's work to protect and support animal agriculture and increase public and private investment in transportation infrastructure.

Rick Stern, USB Audit & Evaluation program chair and a soybean farmer from Cream Ridge, N.J., believes the See for Yourself program helps inform farmers about the checkoff and allows them to evaluate and provide feedback on checkoff-funded programs. "There's no better way to show someone the value of their investment than to show them the results firsthand," Stern says.

For example, participants will learn about the use of soy biodiesel at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, tour a barge-loading facility and visit a laboratory to see soy research taking place, all before heading to the No. 1 market for U.S. soybean meal--Mexico. While south of the U.S. border, participants will get a firsthand look at a large user of U.S. soy in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.

The following U.S. soybean farmers will participate in the 2012 See for Yourself program:

--Cory Atkins, Seaford, Del.;

--Jonathan Miller, Island, Ky.;

--Timothy Clark, Lomira, Wis.;

--Doug Singleteary, Bogota, Tenn.;

--Stephanie Essick, Dickens, Iowa;

--Kristina Sutton, Potosi, Mo.;

--Andrew Fabin, Indiana, Pa.;

--Craig Williams, Oaktown, Ind.;

--David Foster, Fort Scott, Kan.; and

--John Yeargin, Greenfield, Tenn

The 69 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. soy 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.

For more information, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.

Date: 11/12/2012

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