Seeing Firsthand, Where Your Soybeans Go Beyond the Elevator
The 2012 See for Yourself participants will find out
Another growing season has begun: U.S. soybean farmers are busy in the fields, working ground and planting seed that will produce this year’s crop of U.S. soybeans. For many farmers, dropping their last load of soybeans off at the local elevator or processor next fall will mark the end of the season. In many ways, this serves as just the start of what happens to your soybeans. Through the work of the soy checkoff, 10 U.S. soybean farmers will get to see this firsthand and help evaluate projects carried out by the national soy checkoff program. The United Soybean Board (USB) recently selected these soybean farmers to participate in the 2012 See for Yourself program. This USB program offers 10 U.S. soybean farmers the opportunity to see how their checkoff dollars work for them by visiting a number of soy-related domestic and international locations where checkoff-funded activities take place.
“The See for Yourself program gives soybean farmers an up-close look at how and why their checkoff dollars are being used,” said Rick Stern, chairman of USB’s Audit and Evaluation committee. “I can’t think of a better way to have the checkoff evaluated than by the farmers themselves,” Stern said.
The 2012 program will begin on August 5 in St. Louis. There, participants will see soy biodiesel in use at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, visit a Cargill barge loading facility to learn about the importance of reliable river transportation and explore the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to meet with soy researchers about checkoff-funded projects they work on to increase utilization of soy, such as improving the quality of oil found inside each U.S. soybean.
Following the St. Louis portion of the program, participants will head to Guanajuato, Mexico, to see how the soy checkoff builds international demand for U.S. soy. Participants will visit a soybean processor and the largest fresh egg producer in all of Latin America, both of which utilize U.S. soy. A third stop within Mexico will be at a company using soy to enhance the nutritional value of food for the Mexican population. The company uses soy as a base for some of its protein-fortified foods. Finally, participants will visit the facilities of the leading corn flour producer in Mexico. In an effort to improve the nutrition of Mexican families, the company enriches its corn flour with fat-free soy flour, which, among other benefits, improves the protein balance of children, helping with physical and mental development.
USB’s A&E program carries out See for Yourself. A panel of A&E Committee farmer-directors evaluated applicants and made the selections.