USB farmer leaders begin setting 2024 investment priorities

Photo provided by the United Soybean Board

The 77 United Soybean Board farmer leaders set priorities for 2024 program investments during the recent USB board meeting.

April Hemmes, a farmer from north central Iowa, serves as chair of the demand action team.

“This is the meeting where we put our Christmas list together. I don’t know of a lot of other commodity groups where the farmers get together and say this is what we want to focus on and then the projects are brought to us,” she says. “There are phenomenal farmers on this board that really have dug in and gotten into the issues. It’s a pretty exciting time in the soybean world.”

Investments are made across three priority areas of infrastructure and connectivity, health and nutrition, and innovation and technology.

For example, she says new uses for soybeans fall under the innovation and technology priority area, which involves investing in the production of soybeans and soy-based solutions.  

“I have Sketchers tennis shoes where the outsole has soybean oil in it thanks to a collaboration between Goodyear and Sketchers,” she says. “Goodyear and other tire makers are using soy now instead of petroleum in their tires. And, Iowa State University helped develop an asphalt additive that helps asphalt last longer. Soy is a replacement for petroleum and chemicals.”

The board meeting took place Feb. 7-9 in Nashville. The United Soybean Board’s mission is to create value for U.S. soybean farmers by investing in research, education, and promotion of U.S. Soy.

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Audio: April Hemmes

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