Soybean farmers have the opportunity to participate in a request for a referendum. Farmers can sign a petition requesting a vote on the continuation of the soybean checkoff program. United States Soybean Federation Vice President Jerry Slocum explained that farmers who believe the soybean checkoff is doing a good job for them don't need to sign the petition.
Since the beginning of the national soybean checkoff in 1991, the farmgate value of soybeans has increased 2.5 times to $25 billion, demand for U.S. soy has doubled and exports have tripled.
"The farmers who created the checkoff nearly 18 years ago demonstrated an amazing amount of insight," said Warren Stemme, USSF president and a soybean farmer from Chesterfield, Mo. "Now it's the job of today's soybean farmers to keep the program and the corresponding legislation intact."
The United Soybean Board says if USDA determines that at least 10% of the nation's more than 589,000 soybean producers have requested a referendum, a referendum will then be held within one year from that determination. The last soybean request for referendum was held in 2004 with a total of 3,206 farmers signing a petition requesting a referendum. That number reflected less than 0.5% of all eligible farmers.