The leaders of the United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff met last week to discuss funding priorities for the 2008 fiscal year and review the state of the soybean industry.
"As we continue in our roles as stewards of the checkoff, it is imperative we remember our fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of all soybean farmers and to judiciously invest funds as they become available," says Eric Niemann, USB chairman.
USB is working with a budget just over $44.5 million this year, and checkoff farmer-leaders set an initial budget of just over $47 million for fiscal year 2008. Approximately $6 million dollars was made available due to increased checkoff collections. These monies allowed each USB program area to become fully funded for 2007, a goal that was not able to be met previously because of uncertainties in the marketplace.
Going into the next year, the checkoff will remain focused on expanding the inclusion of soy into Asian, North American and European markets. Currently U.S. soy has the fewest trade barriers among all world agricultural exporters, and U.S. soybean farmer-leaders have representatives in over 80 countries around the globe.
The checkoff will also focus on supporting the domestic livestock and poultry industries in 2008, as well as continuing efforts in development of industrial uses for soy, including soy biodiesel, and soy flexible foams and solvents.