Bob Haselwood – New Chairman USB

(Bob) Well, I guess I can say I am honored and humbled to be in the position of Chairman of the United Soybean Board now. I thought it was quite something that my fellow directors felt enough of me to put me in that position. The United Soybean Board is a national board that helps administer the checkoff funds. As most farmer know, for every bushel of soybeans that they sell, 1/2 of one percent is taken out for research and promotion. Half of that money stays at the state level where the Kansas Soybean Commission or other state checkoff boards administer that money. The other half is then remitted onto the United Soybean Board to be administered on a national level. The United Soybean Board had their December meeting here the second week of December. It was our annual meeting so part of the main thing was to start off and elect new officers and have it… first off direction for as far as looking at programs that we are going to be funding in the coming years. But before the actual United Soybean Board Meeting the…. we had our Connections meeting, which is a bi-annual meeting. This is where we try to bring in people from other parts of the soy industry along with some farmers and we try to look at the soybean industry for the next five, six years or even farther down the road looking at things that we need to be doing to keep the profitability in soybean industry. At our Connections meeting we looked at three main areas. The first area and one that I feel is most important is adding value to the soybean meal. As we all know, the livestock industry is our number one customer, whether it’s here or abroad. We have to compete with many different products, different protein sources and different soybean meals from different countries when you start talking about foreign markets. And one thing we want to try to do is improve the meal so that the U.S. soybean meal has a distinct advantage over other soybean meals or other protein sources. Another thing that we looked at was the technology acceptance. Many people talk about GMOs and biotech traits, and we were just looking at different ways that we can find more acceptance. Acceptance of biotech traits has varied throughout the years. We’ve been using them here in the U.S. for 20 plus years and we’ve had no incidence of any ill effects of using GMO products. And the third item that we discussed during the Connections was trying to collaborate research dollars, whether it’s with private research dollars or the public funds we have through the university, how we can coordinate research efforts to better use those dollars and try to cut down some of the duplication of research. Time that is spent for new programs of the United Soybean Board. February meeting will be the meeting that we do a lot of the discussion at that time on programs and research that we are going to fund with the checkoff dollars. The Kansas Soybean Commission had their meeting in which they review their projects for the coming year. Of course, Kansas’ fiscal year starts on July 1, so we were looking for projects starting July 1. You know, they run the gamut of research for as far as varietorial research, research into sudden death and certain weed resistance. We also do some research into new use products for poly oils and such. We also will fund programs for consumer education on soybeans and farming in general. But you know, through the Kansas Soybean Commission and the United Soybean Board, we spend a lot of time researching projects and I sure hope that the time that is spent has been a benefit to the soybean industry as a whole. We wonder sometimes if what we’re doing is for a benefit. But just this past summer we had our Texas A&M did a study for us on our return on investment and return on investment study is something that we’re required through the act in the order to do every five years and this last year we come out with a for every dollar of money that is invested in soybean checkoff that 5.6 dollars is returned to the soybean farmer. Even though we sometimes wonder, I guess that is good proof that we are doing our job and investing our checkoff dollars wisely. I know it always looks like there’s something taken out of your check when you get it at the end, but I hope we’ll all remember even though soybean price is not as high as it was in the last few years, that we’ve raised, we feel like we’ve raised the soybean price to a new level and hopefully it will be there for years to come. And we want to thank everyone for trusting us with your checkoff dollars.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.