The Maryland Soybean Board has reinvested over $445,000 of soy checkoff dollars for its 2023 fiscal year in projects that build value for Maryland soybean growers. The Board of Directors, made up of farmer-leaders from across the state, prioritized projects focused on animal agriculture, consumer education, emerging markets, and farmer engagement, as outlined in their strategic plan.
“Projects funded by the Maryland Soybean Board will provide a return on investment for farmers by building markets, strengthening consumer trust, raising awareness around farm safety, and more,” says Evan Staley, Chair of the board’s Promotion and Communication Committee. “These investments will strengthen Maryland’s soybean industry.”
Project highlights in these target areas include:
Animal Agriculture – Membership to the Animal Agriculture Alliance, Sponsorship of 4-H youth livestock shows, Sponsorship of Delmarva Shorebirds (thankachicken.com), Celebrating 100 Years of Delmarva Chicken;
Consumer Education – MaxCareers.Info website, Max the Sprout educational booklets, Soybean education in Maryland schools, Rural road safety campaign, MidAtlantic CommonGround, My Maryland Farmers website and social media campaign, Maryland Farm & Harvest television series, Television advertising, Maryland agriculture cookbooks;
Emerging Markets – Membership to the Clean Fuels Alliance America, Northeast state regulatory and technical biodiesel support, Membership to the American Soybean Association’s Action Partnership and Innovation to Market working group, Creating the FY23 U.S. soy footprint in brand-new export markets, Maryland biofuels promotion;
Farmer Engagement – Maryland Commodity Classic event, LEAD Maryland educational seminars featuring Maryland’s grain industry, American Soybean Association’s Soybean Leadership Academy, Nationwide’s grain bin safety week, and other local sponsorships.
A full listing of funded projects is available upon request.
“Farmers can trust that their checkoff dollars are being utilized to increase their profitability on the local level. For every dollar that farmers invest into the soybean checkoff, the United Soybean Board has shown that they received an estimated $12.34 in added value,” Staley adds.
In Maryland, farmers grow about a half a million acres of soybeans, producing more than 20 million bushels of beans each year. With a value of $173 million to the state’s economy, soybeans are one of Maryland’s top crops. The checkoff program is funded by farmers through an assessment of one-half of one percent of the net market value of their soybeans at the first point of sale. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Maryland for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board.