Recognizing that the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee does more than just promotion, the checkoff organization has changed its name to the Michigan Soybean Committee.
While promotion and outreach remain a key focus area, there also is a major focus on market development and production research, says Janna Fritz, who took over as CEO in July 2019 for both the Michigan Soybean Committee and the Michigan Soybean Association.
MSA, unlike the checkoff, is a membership organization that represents Michigan soybean producers' interests at the state and national levels. It can lobby, advocate and conduct legislative activities on behalf of the soybean industry.
“Shortening the name allows MSC to have a more representative name and dispel any misconceptions that the checkoff only works with promotion efforts,” Fritz says.
While MSC and MSA have different missions, they both work to strengthen the soybean industry, and they wanted an updated branding to better illustrate the partnership between the two groups. New logos have been developed to have a similar feel, font and design.
“In the new logos, you can identify the Michigan state capital building in the MSA soybean, and the checkmark in the MSC soybean,” Fritz says.
And, in the spirit of change, the soybean office has been moved from Frankenmuth to St. Johns, which is just north of Lansing. The Frankenmuth space was not conducive for board meetings, nor did it foster collaboration with other agriculture organizations, Fritz says.
“The state capital in Lansing is the hot spot for Michigan legislative activity, and a majority of other agricultural organizations are based around the Lansing area,” Fritz says. “Because of those opportunities for legislative and regulatory advocacy, collaboration with fellow ag groups, and being more centrally located for Michigan soybean farmers, MSA and MSC are moving to St. Johns, Mich.”
The organizations will be moving into the AgroLiquid Corporate Headquarters and will be maintaining office space within that facility.
“The team at AgroLiquid has been amazingly welcoming and is excited to have Michigan Soybean join them,” Fritz says. “This facility is routinely used for agricultural conferences and offers the IQ Hub for agricultural education. Michigan Soybean will be planning an open house event for Michigan soybean farmers and stakeholders to visit the new office sometime in the future.”