Soybean farmers in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Virginia have agreed to create a regional research consortium.
The consortium was formed to leverage soybean checkoff funds, reduce redundancy and prioritize local research. Ellen Matthews Davis of West Point, Va., was recently hired to lead the new regional consortium.
Davis had served as executive director of the Virginia Small Grains and Corn Growers Associations and as an ex officio member of the Small Grains and Corn Checkoff Boards until 2006. Davis served as state director of USDA’s rural development from 2006 to January 2014.
She currently serves as chairman of the Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, is the representative from New Kent County to the Board of Directors for Rappahannock Community College and serves on the Virginia Small Grains Checkoff Board. She and her husband, Ray, are partners in 2,800-acre grain farm operation in central Virginia.
Development of the consortium is supported by the soybean checkoff, which assesses one-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans at their first point of sale to support soybean research, marketing and education programs. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Maryland for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board. Both the United Soybean Board and the region’s state soybean boards are financially supporting the project, led by the Maryland Soybean Board.