February 22, 2021
United Soybean Board leaders meet virtually to set 2022 investment directions
78 farmer-directors serving on the United Soybean Board in the United States have met virtually on February 17 to define strategies and goals to strengthen soy's position in the US and global marketplaces for the checkoff's next year of investments related to soybean meal, oil and sustainability.
"We all look forward to meeting in person hopefully in the coming months once conditions merit doing it safely," said Dan Farney, USB chair. "Until then, the executive committee and directors will continue our roles as stewards of the soybean checkoff programme, meeting virtually to make decisions committed to research, promotion and education that serve to benefit the more than 515,000 US. soybean farmers."
USB's financial stewardship and programme development responsibilities include investing in projects to promote the sustainability of US soy as a market differentiator domestically and to build new markets abroad.
Additionally, the soy checkoff funds education to enhance end-user awareness of soy products as well as research to strengthen the resilience of soybean production, improve meal quality and develop new uses for soybean oil.
Early highlights for fiscal year 2021 investments to date for meal, oil and sustainability included:
- Meal: Market promotion efforts conducted by the soybean industry's international market-building organisations have all successfully transitioned to a virtual format with record audiences in attendance. Nutrition research continues to create opportunities for soy, including product differentiation in the marketplace around factors such as meal quality (amino acids and energy) with key partners;
- Sustainability: Supply partnerships and education initiatives advance in collaboration with regional soybean research boards and extension education efforts. USB's partnerships are well-positioned to increase understanding and adoption of sustainable soil practices, ultimately leading to carbon neutrality and consumer benefits.
Prior to the meeting, as part of the soy checkoff's Value Creation Framework process, USB farmer-leaders convened with their assigned Target Area Work Groups. The groups discussed insights and context to inform the strategic approach to accomplish the checkoff's objectives in FY2022. Direction from the work groups defines the areas of greatest importance to guide future investments.
"Farmer-leaders determine investments to positively impact key audiences related to supply, marketplace and demand," said USB strategic management committee chair Jim Carroll III. "In the months ahead, we look forward to reviewing a variety of project proposals that increase the preference for US soy but also bring value to our farmers' bottom line."
Nearly 500 proposals were submitted across the three target areas to achieve checkoff objectives in research, education and promotion. The shared goal of all selected proposals is to strengthen US soy's reputation and competitive advantage when it comes to nutrition, quality and sustainability.
Between now and USB's next meeting in July, checkoff farmer-leaders will review proposals in detail to determine strategic fit ahead of making their final FY2022 project portfolio recommendations.