While USB has always focused on these challenges and opportunities, farmer-leaders sharpened that focus at their winter meeting Feb. 20-24 by approving a plan to reshape the national soy checkoff into four Action Teams dedicated to realizing the four strategic objectives of USB’s Long Range Strategic Plan.

“Adding value to the oil and meal of U.S. soy, protecting our freedom to operate, and focusing on meeting the needs of our customers have always been important for the U.S. soy sector,” said Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D., and USB chair.

“But today’s market for U.S. soy — and tomorrow’s — mean they are more important than ever in order to maximize the profit opportunities for all U.S. soy farmers.”

USB developed the plan after a complete review of the national soy checkoff that farmer-leaders commissioned in 2011, the year USB marked its 20th anniversary.

Farmer-leaders ordered the review to ensure USB is best positioned to meet the needs of the evolving U.S. soy sector in a changing global marketplace.

“Our world is changing fast, and my fellow farmer-directors are dedicated to making sure all U.S. soybean farmers have the opportunity to maximize their profits for generations to come,” Kummer said.

“The changes approved are exciting because they help ensure the national soy checkoff continues to deliver what USB’s motto says: ‘Progress Powered by U.S. Soy Farmers.’”

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers.

Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org