Maryland Soybean Board Seeking Soybean Promotion Projects

The Maryland Soybean Board is now accepting applications for projects that promote soybeans or its many byproducts. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a proposal by July 14.

Projects should be for their upcoming fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2021 and should focus on soybean use and promotion. Priority areas identified by the Maryland Soybean Board include animal agriculture, consumer education, emerging markets, and farmer engagement, however potential projects are not limited to these topics.

“There are constant innovations being made in the soybean industry,” states Evan Staley, chair of the board’s Promotion and Communications Committee. “We look forward to bringing new opportunities to Maryland soybean farmers and sharing the work of farmers within our communities.”

Applications will be reviewed by the farmer-led board and will be selected based on the greatest impact to soybean farming in Maryland. Applications can be found here (Word) (PDF).

About Maryland Soybean Board: The Maryland Soybean Board is funded by the national soybean checkoff program, which assesses one-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans at the first point of sale. The board consists of ten volunteer farmer-directors and directs funds for research, marketing and education programs to benefit the Maryland soybean industry.

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For information, contact:

Danielle Bauer Farace
Maryland Soybean Board
Executive Director
443-812-4526

danielle@mdsoy.com

 

Earth Day Celebrations Continue Year-Round for Maryland Soybean Farmers

As many around the globe celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, Maryland soybean farmers went on with business as usual. That is because for them, every day is Earth Day. Maryland farmers are leading the nation in implementing climate-smart agricultural practices to restore our earth. Emerging science has shown an achievable path for agriculture to become carbon negative. But to reach that achievement, collaboration, partnerships and investment are needed.

The Maryland Soybean Board (MSB) is pleased to be included in the over thirty companies, boards, and NGOs who have signed on to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA) Decade of Ag initiative, endorsing a shared vision for sustainable food systems. In the next decade, MSB pledges to continue working with USFRA and other organizations and leaders from across the food and agriculture value chain to accelerate bold actions, including:

  • Restoring our environment through agriculture that regenerates natural resources,
  • Revitalizing our collective appreciation for agriculture,
  • Investing in the next generation of agricultural systems, and
  • Strengthening the social and economic fabric of America through agriculture.

“We bring momentum to these outcomes from our investment of soybean checkoff dollars in research, market development, and education,” stated MSB Chair Belinda Burrier of Union Bridge. “We look forward to being part of this group of pioneers and encourage others to follow suit.”

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.

For more information on the Maryland Soybean Board, visit www.mdsoy.com.

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Danielle Bauer Farace, Executive Director
Maryland Soybean Board
Office: 443.812.4526
danielle@mdsoy.com

Five Tips for MidAtlantic Motorists to Stay Safe this Growing Season

The proactive safety campaign offers tips, advice and warnings that could save lives.

Each year, spring brings an increased number of tractors and other farm equipment to roadways across the state. It also brings a higher number of accidents that can often be preventable. The Maryland and Delaware Soybean Boards, with support from the United Soybean Board, continues to broaden and reinforce the importance of the “Find Me Driving” safety initiative for consumer motorists as farmers begin their planting season.

“The timing of the Find Me Driving safety campaign is perfect as we anticipate the celebration of National Ag Week, and National Ag Day on March 23, highlighting this year’s theme, ‘Food Brings Everyone to the Table,’” said Belinda Burrier, Maryland Soybean Board chair and USB executive committee member. “These two events remind consumers about the importance of what farmers do to feed the world, and the growing need to share the road with all farmers who are legally allowed to be there.”

The www.FindMeDriving.com website offers driving tips to help motorists be more aware and react appropriately when encountering SMVs — whether those vehicles are construction, service or farm related.

The Find Me Driving website offers a list of driving tips to help motorists be more aware and react appropriately when encountering SMVs — whether those vehicles are construction, service or farm related. Even the campaign’s mascot, SAM, patterned after the high-reflective triangular emblem mounted on slow-moving equipment, is an acronym for “Slow down, Assess your surroundings and Move with caution.”

Five tips to keep in mind when encountering a SMV include the following:

  1. Slow down when you see a SMV sign. This is a warning that the slow moving vehicle is traveling under 25 mph.
  2. Increase your following distance. If you are driving 55 mph and come upon a SMV that is moving 25 mph, it only takes 8 seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between you and the tractor.
  3. Watch for turn signals and/or decreasing speed indicating a turn. Large wide equipment, including tractors pulling planters, often move to the right just before making a left turn so do not assume it will turn right or is letting you pass.
  4. Don’t assume that the farmer can immediately move aside. Roadway shoulders may be soft, wet, or steep, and this can cause equipment to tip.
  5. Pass with caution. Proceed only if you can clearly see ahead of you and the SMV, and that there are no double lines, intersections, curves or hills that block view of oncoming traffic.

“We also ask for drivers to be patient during this busy planting season,” said Cory Atkins, chair of the Delaware Soybean Board and USB director. “Even if you have to slow down to 20 mph and follow a tractor for two miles, it’s like waiting for two stoplights.”

Motorists are encouraged to use the online campaign resources that include flyers, posters, additional safety tips and these videos.

  • Farm Safety Video (Video)
  • Online Course – Chapter 7: Slow Moving Vehicles — (Video)
  • Slow Moving Vehicle Sign PSA — (Video)

“These helpful resources are available for everyone to learn what to look for on rural roads and how to safely navigate roads in our region,” concluded Burrier. “As farm planting season ramps up, drivers need to be reminded to increase awareness to help prevent accidents.”

Volunteer Farm Women Connect to Correct Misinformation about Farming and Food

Family farms on Delmarva, and across America, have helped build the safest and most affordable food supply in the world. Women play a vital role in running the farm and growing the nation’s food supply.  For the past decade, they have been speaking up to tell their story through CommonGround, a national grassroots program designed to connect the women who grow food to the women who buy it.

Born of a partnership between, and funding from, the United Soybean Board and the National Corn Growers Association, CommonGround created a network of 200 women farmers across 20 states to listen to consumer concerns and talk with them about how food and farm products are raised on their own farm. CommonGround members take to the airwaves, blogs, national and local events and social media to provide knowledgeable advocacy and science-backed research. While the program provides a platform for the volunteers to tell their stories, the opinions and statements made by the volunteers are their own.  Because of their passion and love for farming, these farm women are anxious to share what really happens on their farms and answer consumers’ questions.

Volunteer Jennie Schmidt shares her experiences of growing organic and traditional crops during a tour of her farm.

“Being both a farmer and a Registered Dietitian, advocacy was something I had been doing connecting consumers from farm to table, and this opportunity called “CommonGround” provided me with an additional avenue to reach more people and a specific audience of urban and suburban moms,” said Jennifer Schmidt, one of CommonGround’s first volunteers. “CommonGround has made significant inroads in bridging the gap between urban and suburban consumers and the farm women of CommonGround, providing transparent information about food and farming and authentic stories of life on the farm. Beyond my own social media platforms, CommonGround has opened up for me a broader audience and greater accessibility to consumers as well as a network of farm women I can rely on for assistance and support.”

The MidAtlantic chapter of CommonGround began in March of 2012 and is supported through a partnership between the Maryland Soybean Board and the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board. It has reached consumers going to where they shop, play and seek information at food shows, sporting events, community festivals, on-farm tours, speaking engagements, state dietitian meetings, and at the nation’s largest dietetic exposition, the “Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition” at the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Volunteers at nutrition professionals' conference

CommonGround volunteers Paul Linthicum, Kelly Vaughan and Belinda Burrier join author Michele Payn in conversing with dietitian and nutrition professionals at annual conference.

Paula Linthicum is a mom, grandmom and farmer raising corn and soybeans in Montgomery county. She says she is frequently asked about sustainability and the environment at CommonGround events. “The soil is our partner and the home of our plants, and healthy plants need healthy soil,” explained Linthicum. “One of the sustainability practices we use is cover crops, which is planting wheat or a radish mix after soybean or corn harvest. This covers the ground to reduce soil erosion during the winter and actually recycles unused nutrients from the soybeans or corn.”

Amidst the pandemic, CommonGround identified consumers’ interest in knowing how to prepare healthy meals at home and created a virtual cooking series. Simple but delicious recipes with familiar ingredients were prepared with chef instructions on safe cooking measures. The series featured open conversations about the meals and a wide array of common food questions surrounding topics such as GMOs, gene editing, pesticides and hormones in meat and milk.

CommonGround’s website and social media outreach is a great place to go for quick food and farming answers that are straight from the farm and backed by science. They also provide a window into the operations of most every type of farm imaginable. While each volunteer brings different experiences and expertise to the table, they share the same goal—to provide the region with answers to their farming and food questions.

Find us online:

About CommonGround:  CommonGround is a grassroots group of women farmers across the nation having conversations about the food they grow. CommonGround farmers volunteer their time to share personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food. CommonGround was developed by the national checkoffs of the National Corn Growers Association and United Soybean Board and is implemented locally through the Maryland Soybean Board and the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board.

About Maryland Soybean Board: With a value of $173 million to the state’s economy, soybeans are one of Maryland’s top crops. The Maryland Soybean Board works to maximize the profitability of Maryland soybean producers by investing Maryland checkoff funds in research, promotion, and communication projects. Learn more about soybeans in Maryland by visiting www.mdsoy.com.

About Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board: The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board was established in 1991 to administer the Maryland Grain Checkoff Program. Grain producers in Maryland voted to institute this voluntary checkoff program, which is funded by participating growers donating 0.5% of each Maryland bushel sold. With this funding, the board can fulfill its mission to increase the profitability of Maryland grain production and to improve public understanding of agriculture through promotion, education, and research.

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