This will be my eighth year as a USB director and my 30th year as a farmer. If I’ve learned anything over that time, it’s that farmers just want to grow better beans and sell them for a better price. That’s why for the past two years, I’ve been working with my fellow soy checkoff farmer-leaders to develop a multifaceted, multiyear plan that focuses on doing just that — bringing more value to soybean growers.
After all, that’s our mission — to create value for U.S. soybean farmers by investing in research, education and promotion of U.S. soybeans.
Over the coming months, you are going to be seeing and hearing more about your checkoff investment and the organization’s priorities going forward. We will be focusing on three priority areas from both the supply and demand sides:
Infrastructure and Connectivity
- Supply: Investing in the ability of farmers to connect to markets, information and each other.
- Demand: Investing in the necessary infrastructure to connect soy users to the market.
Health and Nutrition
- Supply: Plant Health and Nutrition — Investing in the growing soybeans to meet the future needs of plant and soil health and nutrition.
- Demand: Animal and Human Health and Nutrition — Investing in the benefits that soybeans deliver for animal and human health and nutrition.
Innovation and Technology
- Supply: Investing in the production of soybeans to meet the demands of the future through improvements, new uses and technologies.
- Demand: Investing in soy-based solutions to meet the demands of the future.
To bring these three priorities to life, we are going to do the following:
- Position and empower soybean farmers to capture value potential.
- Enable farmers to bridge the gap between supply and demand across the U.S. soy value chain.
- Define and promote the unique value and versatility of U.S. soybeans and soy products through both traditional avenues and new opportunities.
No doubt, the agriculture industry will be faced with exciting opportunities and complex challenges in the coming years. I am confident the checkoff’s new plan will allow us to be focused and flexible while creating value for U.S. soybean farmers by investing in research, education, and the promotion of U.S. soybeans for feed, food, fiber, and fuel.
To learn more about USB’s new strategic plan, click here to see how we’re working to bring more value back to your farm and move our industry forward.
Ralph Lott II grows soybeans and corn along with a cow operation for freezer trade and restaurants on his farm in Seneca, New York. Now in his eighth year on the United Soybean Board, Lott serves as Vice Chair.