You've grown soybeans for years - fed them or sold them for livestock feed and maybe even snacked on a few. But would you use soy to build a house?
That's now possible, according to a trio of spokesmen during an open house for a home built, in part, from soybased products.
"The House That Soy Built" was open to visitors during the Farm Science Review, an annual outdoor exhibition held recently in London, OH. Finger-jointed lumber, plywood, concrete sealer, plastics and carpet backing, all part of the house, contain soy.
The demonstration house was built by the Ohio Soybean Council and the United Soybean Board (USB) to feature the above-mentioned products developed from research funded, in part, by soybean growers.
"We're always looking for new uses for soybeans," says Hardinsburg, IN, grower Gene Lewis, who is also USB's New Uses Committee chair.
"When we do producer surveys, the No. 1 interest is new uses," adds Roy Loudenslager, a Marion, OH, grower and Ohio Soybean Council Chairman. But developing new uses is only part of the battle, they stress.
"It takes some time to prove these products," Lewis explains. "And we have to make sure we have the right research behind them. We want quality products."
And then there's the marketing.
"The marketing is a tremendously difficult area," Lewis admits.
But that's where exhibits like The House That Soy Built come in. Consumers can see several products - adhesives, coatings and inks, lubricants, plastics and solvents - that can take the place of traditional petroleum or chemical-based products, Lewis and Loudenslager say.
And that's a win-win situation for consumers and growers.
"The development of new soybean uses, plus consumer acceptance of these soy products, will help increase domestic U.S. soybean utilization and U.S. soybean farmers' profit opportunity," Loudenslager says.