Creating profit opportunities requires a plan of action. It’s looking forward and thinking big. It’s being aware and identifying every possibility to put your soybean crops to use and nurturing new and emerging international markets. It’s ideas, research, strategy and drive all put into action to help you prosper. It’s knowing your success is paramount and that the most important thing the checkoff can do is help you thrive.
The soy checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5% of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 78 volunteer farmer-leaders often nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards. The nominees are appointed to the board by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
In 1991, the U.S. Congress passed a provision as part of the 1990 farm bill to form the soy checkoff at the request of soybean farmers.
As soybeans make their way to the elevator, the river or wherever they are scheduled to go after harvest, and the grain checks are cut and signed, you’ll notice a line item for your commodities checkoff. The soy checkoff, as well as other checkoffs such as sorghum, dairy or wheat, is entirely supported by the farmers that grow their commodity. Soybean farmers make individual contributions of 0.5% of the market price per bushel each season. Half of that contribution goes toward the national checkoff — the United Soybean Board — and the other half goes toward Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs).
Types of Investment
The soy checkoff focuses our investments in three key areas: education, promotion and research. By educating consumers of all types, we foster demand for U.S. soy. Through education and promotion, the checkoff has established relationships with consumers and organizations in the industrial uses space, consumer packaged goods industry and more.
Through research, the soy checkoff has joined organizations like Goodyear to develop new products using U.S. soy, which has grown demand, fostered scientific advancement and increased companies’ sustainability.
Research isn’t just for consumers. The soy checkoff is also dedicated to research to increase profitability at the farm level. With programs like Take Action, the checkoff has partnered with weed scientists to develop tools and research pesticide resistance. High oleic is one of the checkoff’s longest running programs. The program has worked with seed scientists, end users and farmers to develop high oleic soybeans which give farmers an opportunity to earn a premium without extra headaches.
Soy Partner Organizations
Like the multiple components of a soybean, there are partner organizations within the soy checkoff. The United Soybean Board administers soybean checkoff activities focusing on research, market development and expansion, while the American Soybean Association (ASA) focuses on state and national policy issues which, by law, USB can’t. Another soy partner organization is the U.S. Soybean Export Council, or USSEC, which focuses on building demand internationally for U.S. soy.
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Creating profit opportunities is a state-by-state, innovation-by-innovation, around-the-clock mission that requires a specialized team of farmer-directors and strategic staff who have an eye on the future.
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