The road from the typical U.S. soybean farm to a major poultry, pork and dairy operation in western Mexico may not seem clear at first, but, as 10 U.S. soybean farmers, including Michigan grower Timothy Dunn, are about to find out in the United Soybean Board's "See for Yourself" program, it's more direct than they may think.
The soybean checkoff selected the 10 farmers, who raise soybeans and other crops on farms from the across the country, to take part in the fourth annual "See for Yourself" program to see their checkoff dollars in action, says Rick Stern, USB Audit & Evaluation program chair and a soybean farmer from Cream Ridge, N.J. "There's no better way to show someone the value of their investment than to show them the results firsthand," Stern says. The program will be held from July 25-30.
Participants will learn about the use of soy biodiesel at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, travel on a barge that transports U.S. soy and visit a company that makes soy ink, before heading to the number one market for U.S. soybean meal – Mexico – to get a firsthand look at the massive PROAN farm in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. They will visit the state-of-the-art facility and hear why PROAN chooses to source soybean meal from the United States over other countries. They will also visit an aquaculture farm and a refinery that produces soy and palm oil.
Other U.S. soybean farmers participating in the 2011 "See for Yourself" program include:
Britt Anderson – Nebraska
Gary Berg – Illinois
Drew DeSutter – Illinois
Tim Even – South Dakota
Mark Huseth – Minnesota
Crystal Martodam – North Dakota
Trent Profit – Ohio
Fred Paul Robinson – North Carolina
Jeffrey Sorenson – Minnesota
USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.
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