Harold Phillips a USB chairman Harold Phillips, a local soybean farmer from Stevenson, Ala., was recently appointed to the United Soybean Board (USB) International Marketing Committee and selected as chair of the Latin America Subcommittee. Phillips was also selected to serve on the Trade Analysis Committee.

USB held its annual meeting in St. Louis, Mo., The 62-member volunteer farmer board reviewed accomplishments from fiscal year 2000, elected its 2001 executive committee, and assigned USB directors to committees.

"It is an honor to be selected to serve on both USB Committees," says Phillips. "The accomplishments of the farmer-driven checkoff benefits all U.S. soybean farmers, and this is a volunteer duty that I take very seriously. It requires a lot of commitment, and it is the responsibility of all USB directors to work toward creating an environment within which U.S. soybean farmers can maximize profits."

USB has five primary areas of focus: International Marketing, Domestic Marketing, New Uses, Production and Communications.

"The International Marketing Committee has outlined a strategic plan to increase market share of the worldwide export market and U.S exports from one billion bushels to 1.5 billion bushels by 2005," says Phillips.

The soybean checkoff supports overseas market development offices and provides assistance in importing, processing and utilizing U.S. soybeans and soybean products. Checkoff dollars have helped provide assistance on animal nutrition, soybean oil refining, soybean processing, animal disease prevention and control, marketing, and in many other areas to increase exports of U.S. soybeans and soy products.

A recent checkoff-funded survey concludes that U.S. soybean meal used as a protein source in animal consumption is of higher quality than soybean meals available from other countries. U.S. dehulled and non-dehulled soybean meals were found to be the best of all meals analyzed in terms of digestibility. This is a key factor, since it indicates the amount of nutrients poultry and livestock will utilize.

The checkoff is supported by every U.S. soybean farmer at a rate of 0.5 percent of the market price per bushel sold. Half of the farmers' funds go to work at the state level, and the other half is invested by USB on national and international programs.

USB is made up of 62 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers.