Kurt Maurath, Chairman of Kansas Soybean Commission

(Kurt Maurath) I am Kurt Maurath. I represent the western third of Kansas on the Soybean Commission. I became Chairman last fall. I’ve served about 12 years on the commission. I’m just enthusiastic about continuing the research and the projects that the commission does to increase the soybean industry in Kansas. We’re here to hopefully increase the profitability for the Kansas farmers. On the commission, all the members serving are farmers and we all have our concerns on what needs to be done. Last December for example, we sifted through 80 to 90 research projects and we picked out the ones we felt would benefit the Kansas farmers the most. Whether it was local research done at Kansas State University or Pittsburgh University or Wichita State or the international programs that we partnership with USEC and USB on. Whether its agriculture in Indonesia, in Pakistan or poultry production in Mexico and Japan, it’s all about increasing exports and just using up the crop that the Kansas farmer is really great at growing. The commission has been the initiative in the United States as far as biodiesel and currently the numbers projected say that we increased the value of the soybean by 65 cents for every bushel. So we are very proud of that but we have a long way to go about getting the education out about the use of biodiesel, the effectiveness and that it doesn’t harm the fuel supply in any way. Well, this event is very special to us. To bring the farmers in and they get to meet the researchers; some of the projects that are going on. They get to hear the speakers talking about the soybean industry. Not only in Kansas but also throughout the world. It’s just a good way to help educate our local farmers on what we are doing with their money and how that’s supporting the soybean industry in Kansas. Well, I got involved just for the reason of wanting to see where that money is being spent. When I see that Checkoff come off of my price of a bushel on my local elevator I wanted to see how it was spent. I had the opportunity as the district was open in Western Kansas to join the board and since in, to understand how the money is spent and to see that; the process of it. I just wanted to stay a part of it because it’s a very good use of our money and I could see how it’s really benefited us. Even though markets go up and down, we can’t do much about that, but we can tell that we have increased the value of soybeans in Kansas.

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