December 8, 2020
United Soybean Board elects Illinois, US farmer as chair
US farm leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) have elected Dan Farney from Morton, Illinois, as USB chair for the 2021 term and 10 other farmer-leaders to serve on the executive committee of the organisation during an annual meeting on December 9-10.
In addition, 19 directors were sworn in for new terms by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
"What an honor to have been selected by my fellow farmers to lead the soy checkoff next year," said Farney. "I'm so proud of our accomplishments but look forward to going a step further to increase the value and preference for US soy."
With oversight from the USDA, the USB leadership guides the activity of the US soy checkoff in accordance with the strategy outlined by its 78-member board.
"As the stewards of the soy checkoff, we are committed to research and market development on behalf of all soybean farmers that strengthens the resilience of US soybean production. This ranges from developing new customers abroad to building demand domestically through animal agriculture, human consumption, biodiesel and industrial uses for over 1,000 products on the market," Farney said.
USB continues to focus on three priority areas for investment: meal, oil and sustainability. During the board meeting and strategy sessions, USB directors considered market impacts and challenges in 2020 as well as opportunities that will affect soybean value into 2021.
"Soybean farmers are the definition of resilient," said USB CEO Polly Ruhland. "You can't knock them down, and you certainly can't count them out. The checkoff is a reflection of that spirit. Your dedicated farmer-leaders not only push the checkoff forward, but they also rightly expect more from each successive project in which they invest."
Key successes for 2020 that were discussed included checkoff-funded research, planning, analysis and design to inform the dredging of the lower Mississippi River and opening new export channels for US soybeans.
"It's been a difficult year in many ways, but soybean farmers have never strayed from their goal of providing a high-quality product to customers," said former USB chair Jim Carroll III. "I couldn't be more pleased with the work of our checkoff this past year in adapting during the pandemic to reach end users and maximise profit opportunities in new and innovative ways."