December 20, 2021
United Soybean Board elects new chair
Farmer-leaders of the US soy checkoff elected Ralph Lott from Seneca Falls, New York, the United States, as its 2022 chair and 10 other farmer-leaders to serve on the executive committee at the United Soybean Board (USB) meeting on December 7-9 in St. Charles, Missouri.
"With a productive growing season, favorable soybean prices and increased demand in 2021, amid supply chain constraints, this is an exciting and pivotal time for US soy, both domestically and internationally. I appreciate the support of my fellow board members, and I am eager to work with them to identify initiatives that grow our markets and bring value back to the farm," said Lott.
"I look forward to continuing the board's success of making judicious soy checkoff investments in addressing both immediate and long-term supply and demand opportunities and driving resiliency for US soybean farmers."
Key successes from 2021 include US soybeans being used as an ingredient in more than 1,000 different products.
In addition, a checkoff-funded rural broadband report led to 15 recommendations for delivering high-speed internet needed by farmers and rural communities. One hundred million tonnes of US Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol verified soy were shipped internationally, and domestically, the USDA Dietary Guidelines highlighted the inclusion of soy products across the dairy, oils, vegetables and protein categories. This is on top of record export volume for the 2020/21 marketing year, as a result of strategic efforts to diversify international markets.
"Generations of US soybean farmers will benefit from this progress and investment decisions made by the checkoff's volunteer farmer-leaders," said Polly Ruhland, chief executive officer of USB. "The foresight of this board is reflected in their collective efforts to continue mapping a production and delivery path for sustainable US soybeans globally on behalf of over 515,000 US soybean farmers."
The mission of the soy checkoff is to create value for US soybean farmers by investing in research, education and promotion of US soybeans. Research and promotion projects are implemented by USB with oversight from the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service.
Since 1991, when the soy checkoff began working on behalf of US soybean farmers, it's provided significant return on investment by leveraging partnerships that increase the value and preference for US soybeans. The latest mandatory five-year independent economic evaluation, conducted in 2019, found that US soybean farmers received an estimated US$12.34 in added value for every dollar they invested in the checkoff.
"In reflecting over this past year, I'm proud to see our checkoff contributions giving US farmers more opportunities to deliver high-quality soy to a growing base of customers here and abroad," said Lott's predecessor, Dan Farney. "I am honored and humbled to have served as chair, and I look forward to working with our new leadership."