Maryland’s Belinda Burrier was one of 12 returning directors sworn in to the United Soybean Board at its annual meeting Dec. 6 in St. Louis.

A total of 19 farmer-directors were appointed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Burrier, of Union Bridge, and William Layton of Vienna represent Maryland on the United Soybean Board.

The volunteer farmer-leaders of USB direct soybean checkoff funds to research, marketing and promotion efforts that maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. To increase the value of U.S. soy, the checkoff works with partners in the value chain to identify and capture opportunities in areas where U.S. soybean farmers can most effectively differentiate their product: meal, oil and sustainability.

“The largest customers of U.S. soy are demanding more value within the bean itself,” says John Motter, USB chair and soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio. “The expertise and vision of these farmer-leaders will challenge us to look at innovations beyond just growing more bushels to meet the needs of our customers around the world and boost the profit potential of U.S. soybean farmers.”

USB’s 73 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.