National soy checkoff recognized for biodiesel leadership
The National Biodiesel Board recently acknowledged the national soy checkoff's commitment to advancing the U.S. biodiesel industry with the Eye on Biodiesel Influence Award. The award honors an individual or organization that has impacted public acceptance of biodiesel.
Biodiesel manufacturing drives demand for U.S. soy oil, which continues to be the primary feedstock for U.S. biodiesel manufacturing.
United Soybean Board Chairman Jim Stillman accepted the award on behalf of the checkoff at the National Biodiesel Conference and Expo.
"It's an honor to receive this award on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers," says Stillman, who farms in Emmetsburg, Iowa. "U.S. soybean farmers, through their checkoff, have helped grow the U.S. industry through research and promotion."
Much of that work has come in the form of partnerships with NBB that have helped increase the use of biodiesel.
A large portion of the checkoff's biodiesel investments has been used for quality and performance testing, and to promote biodiesel availability and use. As a result, biodiesel is one of the most tested renewable fuels on the market. Thanks in part to the checkoff's efforts, U.S. biodiesel production has increased from about 500,000 gallons in 1999 to more than 1 billion gallons in 2012.
The checkoff has also been active in promoting Bioheat, a biodiesel-based heating oil alternative. This winter, New York City began requiring all heating oil used in the city to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel.
"The soy checkoff has made biodiesel a priority, and we've seen the results in the growth of the biodiesel market," says Lewis Bainbridge, USB Oil Action Team chair and a soybean farmer from Ethan, SD. "USB will continue to support the biodiesel industry by funding research to help expand the market even more."
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 on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.