“The See for Yourself program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Keith Tapp, a soybean farmer from Sebree, Kentucky, and chair of USB’s Audit and Evaluation Committee, which sponsors See for Yourself. “Participants are able to ask questions and give feedback to me and other farmer-leaders directly, while seeing the results of their checkoff investment firsthand.”
Mr. Williams will join the following farmers this year to get the chance to see how the checkoff helps increase demand for their soybeans:
- Nathan Brown from Hillsboro, Ohio;
- Jennifer Campbell from Franklin, Indiana;
- Rick Dickerson from Laurel, Delaware;
- Caleb Frey from Morganza, Louisiana;
- Adam Guetter from Wabasso, Minnesota;
- April Hemmes from Hampton, Iowa;
- Tina Holst from Chilton, Wisconsin;
- Justin Knobel from Elysburg, Pennsylvania; and
- Carl Philips from Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
The See for Yourself program gives participants a firsthand look at how and where their soybeans are being used both domestically and internationally. It also offers farmer-participants an opportunity to evaluate specific, checkoff-funded research and promotional activities. The program will be held July 30 through Aug. 7 in St. Louis, China and Vietnam.
This will be See for Yourself’s first visit to Vietnam. The third-largest aquaculture-producing country in the world, Vietnam offers a unique look at animal agriculture’s needs for high-quality soybean meal. With the cost of fishmeal-based feeds rising, soybean meal is a more affordable and more sustainable protein option for aquaculture feed. In 2014, Vietnam imported more than 350,000 metric tons of U.S. soybean meal, or the meal from over 16.3 million bushels of U.S. soybeans, most of which was used to feed fish.
Other stops during the program will highlight the checkoff’s work in production research, transportation, biodiesel, high oleic and more.
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.
For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.