'See for Yourself' participants to see soy checkoff in action
Unloading soybeans at the elevator after harvest may seem like the end of the season for farmers, but it’s really just the beginning of the journey. From there, the soybeans travel to various markets domestically and abroad. How are they used? Ten U.S. soybean farmers are about to see for themselves.
The United Soybean Board recently selected participants for this year’s See for Yourself program, which will be held Aug. 14 to 22 in St. Louis, Panama and Ecuador. The annual program will give the following farmers a firsthand look at some of the many uses for their soybeans around the world:
Kyle Bridgeforth, Tanner, Alabama;
James Caudle, Peachland, North Carolina;
Kate Danner, Aledo, Illinois;
Brennan Gilkison, Winchester, Kentucky;
Matt Hinderer, Chelsea, Michigan;
Don Holbert, Dandridge, Tennessee;
Darin LaBar, Union City, Michigan;
Kevin McGrain, Hornick, Iowa;
Wade Walters, Shickley, Nebraska; and
LaVell Winsor, Grantville, Kansas.
“The See for Yourself program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says David Hartke, a soybean farmer from Teutopolis, Illinois, and chair of the USB’s Audit and Evaluation Committee, which sponsors See for Yourself. “Not only do farmers see the checkoff in action firsthand, but they have the chance to provide feedback directly to me and other farmer-leaders on the checkoff programs they learn about.”
These farmer-participants will learn about their domestic and international customers’ needs for soybean meal and oil. That includes animal agriculture, which uses nearly 97 percent of U.S. soybean meal, and the food industry, which uses two-thirds of U.S. soybean oil.
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. 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.