Southeast growers appointed to soybean check-off board

Fellow Southeastern grower Woody Green of South Carolina has been re-appointed to the commodity group’s board, and Don Underwood of Alabama is serving as an alternate on the board.

Nineteen soybean farmers from around the country have been appointed to serve on the volunteer board that administers the soybean checkoff. The appointees join 43 other U.S. soybean farmers who create and oversee programs to increase U.S. soybean exports and domestic utilization, find new uses for U.S. soybeans and keep U.S. soybean farmers competitive by conducting research to improve the composition of U.S. soy.

"Each of these volunteer appointees will represent soybean farmers from their respective states," says United Soybean Board (USB) Chairman Richard Borgsmiller, a soybean farmer from Murphysboro, Ill. "We have an important job to do by making sure the soybean checkoff conducts effective, efficient and farmer-driven programs that accomplish our mission, to create an environment within which U.S. soybean producers can maximize profits."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soybean checkoff appointments come two weeks prior to the start of USB's new fiscal year on Oct. 1. The farmers who lead the soybean checkoff at the national level have made keeping U.S. soybean farmers competitive a top priority. USB's five soybean checkoff program areas include International Marketing, Domestic Marketing, New Uses Development, Production Research & Coordination, and Communications.

"The soybean checkoff has helped U.S. soybean farmers achieve record exports, grow our domestic demand, greatly expand new uses such as soy biodiesel and solve some of our toughest production problems through checkoff-funded research," says Borgsmiller. "We need to build on that record of success on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. That's why we have a soybean checkoff program, and I look forward to working with the new group of farmer-directors to our board."

All of the appointees officially become farmer-directors on USB at the board's annual meeting, Dec. 5-10 in St. Louis. All appointees were nominated by their state soybean checkoff boards and will serve three-year terms on USB.

USB is made up of 62 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. 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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