Checkoff News

Soy Checkoff Honors the Late George Martin with 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award

The United Soybean Board awarded George Martin with the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award — the highest honor given by the organization.

ST. LOUIS (March 9, 2020) — The soy checkoff honored George Martin of Nebo, Kentucky, with the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the United Soybean Board. During his lifetime, Martin dedicated more than 18 years of collective service to the soybean checkoff and the farmers it serves.

Each year, the United Soybean Board recognizes an individual, organization or group that has made a positive impact on the soybean industry and the soy checkoff with the Outstanding Achievement Award. Martin passed away in January. He was 77 years old. Friend, fellow Kentucky soybean farmer and USB Past Chair Keith Tapp accepted on his behalf.

“We are proud to honor George with this award. George’s impact on soybean farmers was huge in Kentucky and nationally. He was a good friend and mentor to so many of us. We all wish he could have been the one accepting this award,” Tapp said.

Martin went above and beyond during his involvement with the United Soybean Board. He was an active part of the Kentucky Soybean Association since its infancy in 1975, when its first office was his kitchen table. He went on to serve as chairman of the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board in 2005, then as one of the first representatives for Kentucky on the United Soybean Board, serving two nine-year terms.

“It’s an honor to recognize George for this award for outstanding achievement. He was truly an invaluable source of knowledge and service to Kentucky and U.S. soybean farmers, and we will miss his support greatly,” said Jim Carroll III, USB Chair from Brinkley, Arkansas.

Martin’s achievements set a course for the future. He played a crucial role in the development and growth of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance, which promotes the aquaculture industry in the U.S. and abroad as a key customer of U.S. soy. He also supported the Southern Soybean Research Program and several other production research efforts to build a better soybean for farmers. And for more than 50 years, Martin farmed soybeans in Kentucky.

“Martin’s dedication to the soy industry will never go unnoticed or forgotten. He will be remembered for his hardworking and encouraging spirit and the dedication he had to our organization and industry,” said Ryan Bivens, Kentucky Soybean Board chairman from Hodgenville, Kentucky. “We are thankful for all the years we were able to have with him.”

About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. 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.

About Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board: The Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board invests checkoff dollars to create opportunities for increased profitability. KSPB is funded by soybean farmers’ checkoff dollars, and the board serves as stewards of those funds, investing in production research, promoting animal agriculture, discovering and promoting new uses for soy-based products and helping educate the public, thus keeping soybeans as a top-of-mind commodity with consumers.  


Paul Murphy-Spooner at United Soybean Board, 636.681.1254.
Mace Thornton at United Soybean Board, 636.681.1263.
Rae Wagoner at Kentucky Soybean Board, 270.625.0535.

© 2020 United Soybean Board. All Rights Reserved. [59824-CB]

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