Farmer sees soybean checkoff in action
Gothenburg’s Britt Anderson participates in ‘See for Yourself.’
The soybean crop covering much of Nebraska’s farmland sells all over the world to produce animal feed, ink, biodiesel and more.
Just ask Gothenburg farmer Britt Anderson, who saw it all for himself as part of the soybean checkoff’s “See for Yourself” program.
Anderson and nine other U.S. soybean farmers participated in this year’s program. Each soybean farmer experienced how various poultry, livestock and aquaculture facilities and soyfood processing plants utilize U.S. soy by traveling to the Jalisco, Mexico, region, July 25-30.
“Before the ‘See for Yourself’ program, I wasn’t too familiar with the United Soybean Board (USB),” Anderson said. “However, I read more about the soybean checkoff than any other checkoff program. I knew how the soybean checkoff collected dollars, but other than that, I didn’t know about all the promotion and research programs.”
The “See for Yourself” program began in St. Louis where participants saw new soy uses at an ink plant, biodiesel performance at an international airport, and witnessed the importance of inland waterways with a stop at a barge transportation company.
While in Mexico, U.S. soybean farmers toured the SuPollo processing plant and poultry farm, an egg processing plant and a fish farm.
“‘See for Yourself’ provides USB the opportunity to evaluate the perceptions of a group of U.S. soybean farmers who are eager to learn more about the checkoff,” said John Motter, USB audit and evaluation program vice chair and a soybean farmer from Jenera, OH. “The checkoff has a system of checks and balances in place, and the ‘See for Yourself’ program helps us evaluate USB programs.
“Visiting Mexico allowed soybean farmers to see the value of our international customers, and the value those customers see in U.S. soy.”
“The soybean checkoff really concentrates on getting research information out to farmers through the various programs, such as the new uses program area,” Anderson said. “By participating in the ‘See for Yourself’ program, it opened my eyes to the many other uses for soy such as in human nutrition.”
USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply.
As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.