U.S. soybean farmers have always had products they could use that would add value to their crop, thanks, at least in part, to projects that have been funded over the years by the soy checkoff. There’s soy biodiesel, certain brands of paint and plenty of lubricants they can use in the shop, just to name a few. All together, products like these have helped increase industrial demand for U.S. soy by 482 percent in the last 10 years.
This year, the soy checkoff partnered with manufacturers to help commercialize 45 new soy-based products, giving farmers and others even more opportunities to buy products that contain U.S. soy. In this interview, Russ Carpenter, a soy checkoff farmer-leader from Trumansburg, N.Y., talks about how partnerships like these benefit U.S. soybean farmers.
Q: What do these products mean for U.S. soybean farmers?
A: These 45 products represent 45 new ways of enhancing the market for our soybeans. All of the products the checkoff helped develop this year and in past years, including some that we can use on our farms, come together to create a valuable market for our soy.
Q: Why does the checkoff invest in research and development of new uses for soy?
A: The checkoff is about finding and increasing value for soybeans. Wherever that value is, that’s where we need to be.
Q: What do you look for in a proposal for a new soy product?
A: We’re looking for innovative work that will lead to a great new use for soybeans. We collaborate with industry on research projects and form partnerships that add value for everybody, both the manufacturer and soybean farmers.
Q: How does the checkoff choose which products to support?
A: We have a very good group of farmer-leaders willing to really dive into these projects and look for the ones that will benefit U.S. soybean farmers. In some cases, manufacturers come to us with product ideas that can fill an opportunity in the marketplace.
Q: Does high-oleic soy oil offer benefits to industrial users of soy?
A: High-oleic soy oil offers some excellent functionality benefits for industrial users, and we believe high-oleic soy can help us further increase industrial demand. The checkoff studies how the specific characteristics of high-oleic soybeans work in industrial uses.
To read the entire list of the new soy products the checkoff helped bring to market this year, click here. To browse the entire Soy Products Guide, USB’s online catalog of soy-based products with ordering information, click here.