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Soybean program gives farmers insights on check-off efforts

ST. LOUIS (January 10, 2012) - Do you grow soybeans and want to see your checkoff in action? This is your chance.

U.S. soybean farmers can now apply for the United Soybean Board's (USB) free See for Yourself (SFY) program, which will enable 10 U.S. soybean farmers this year to witness for themselves how the soybeans they grow are used in animal feed at home and abroad, in biodiesel, in fish farming, and even as a mainstay in a school-lunch program. As you learn, you can also evaluate how soybean-checkoff investments help foster this utilization every step of the way.

Interested U.S. soybean farmers may complete an application now through March 30 on the USB website at

"'Seeing is believing' has become the theme of this program," says program participant Rick Stern, who raises soybeans on his farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. Stern also serves as chair of USB's Audit & Evaluation (A&E) Committee.

"The program allows soybean farmers to see how multifaceted their checkoff is, and how our soybeans are being used both here in the United States and internationally," he says.

The weeklong program, scheduled to take place July 29-Aug. 4, will also enable U.S. soybean farmers to meet industry representatives using soy, as well as some of the men and women who help lead the checkoff.

"The program lets U.S. soybean farmers see how their checkoff works, develop relationships with the farmer-leaders who represent them and come away with knowledge about how their checkoff dollars are put to use," Stern says.

Stern and other USB farmer-directors who serve on its A&E Committee oversee the See for Yourself program and other efforts to help ensure all U.S. soybean farmers see a return on their soybean checkoff investments.

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