Directors from the Delaware and Maryland Soybean Boards hosted soybean buyers and users from Northern Europe on their farms last week to promote U.S. soy, as part of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) Soy Connext summit. In its second year, Soy Connext hosted more than 700 participants, including international customers from 58 countries together with U.S. Soy farmers, related food and agriculture industry professionals, commodity exporters and others to discuss today’s global economy and the need for collaborative efforts among those who grow, sell and choose U.S. Soy.
“Building relationships with international buyers and users upholds a strong soybean market in the Mid-Atlantic region,” states Delaware Soybean Board Chair Cory Atkins of Cory’s Produce. “While a majority of soybeans grown on the Delmarva are utilized locally, the demand for exports supports builds value for our beans.”
Soybean buyers and users from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland, and the United Kingdom had the opportunity to visit diverse operations in the two states, including Emerson Farms in Middletown, DE, Cory’s Produce in Laurel, DE, and Pleasant Valley Farm in Brookeville, MD. During these visits, the group discussed the region’s animal agriculture markets, soybean production and utilization, sustainability, urban encroachment, and more. During their trip, they enjoyed trying local treats as well, including Delaware-churned ice cream and Maryland blue crabs.
“I enjoy having groups out to my farm and sharing with them what we do here,” says Maryland Soybean Board Director Randy Stabler of Pleasant Valley Farm. “But we also learn from them and are able to recognize trends that affect our markets worldwide.”
About Delaware Soybean Board: Delaware farmers plant about 160,000 acres of soybeans annually, producing over seven million bushels of beans and generating approximately $60 million in value to the state. The Delaware Soybean Board consists of nine farmer-directors and the Secretary of Agriculture. Funded through a one-half of one percent assessment on the net market value of soybeans at their first point of sale, the checkoff works with partners in the value chain to identify and capture opportunities that increase farmer profit potential. See more at www.desoybeans.org.
About Maryland Soybean Board: In Maryland, farmers grow about 500,000 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 0.5% of 1% 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. See more at www.mdsoy.com.
For More Information Contact:
Delaware Soybean Board, Maryland Soybean Board
The Maryland Soybean Board (MSB) is currently requesting proposals for projects that promote soybeans or their many by-products through July 24. Priority areas identified by MSB include animal agriculture, consumer education, emerging markets, and farmer engagement, however any projects seeking to maximize the profitability of Maryland soybean growers will be accepted.
“The potential uses for soy are endless, and through funded projects, we will demonstrate their value to both farmers and consumers,” says Evan Staley, chair of the board’s Promotion and Communications Committee. “These projects will continue to build on the return of investment Maryland farmers gain from the soy checkoff.”
Funded by the soybean checkoff, projects should be for MSB’s upcoming fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2023, and should focus on soybean use promotion and communication. Applications will be reviewed by the farmer-led Board of Directors and will be selected based on those that provide the greatest benefit to Maryland’s soybean industry. 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.
For information, contact:
Danielle Bauer Farace
Maryland Soybean Board
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.
With catchy graphics and video driving examples, a first of its kind driver education unit has been developed to learn about driving near and around slow-moving vehicles. The six-minute video lesson with teacher guide offers an easy-to-use tool for driver education classes – or home use – to cover a critical topic that needs attention.
“Knowing how to drive near slow moving vehicles is such an essential part of traveling in rural and commuter areas,” commented Belinda Burrier, Maryland soybean farmer and Chair of the United Soybean Board Communications and Promotions Committee. “We were surprised to discover that slow-moving vehicle education is not part of many state driver education curriculums.”
Findings from the Maryland Rural Road Safety Study showed that the majority of farm vehicle crashes were rear-end incidents involving two moving vehicles on two-way, undivided roads. Over 75% of crashes occurred during daylight hours and over 72% occurred in clear weather. And the number of crashes is growing every year.
The issue is particularly crucial for young drivers. According to a new study published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, drivers ages 15-24 make up over 22% of rural road fatal crashes, the highest number for any age group.
“We had many farmers report of incidents where they had to drive off the road to avoid a vehicle trying to unsafely pass them with oncoming traffic headed their way,” commented Burrier. “This persuaded the Maryland Soybean Board to launch a road safety education campaign applicable nationwide to improve safety on roads for our farmers and our neighbors in the community.”
The “Find Me Driving” road safety awareness campaign urges motorists to understand slow moving vehicles (SMVs) and how to safely drive near them. The website, social media content, and now driver education unit, offer driving tips to help motorists be more aware on rural and commuter roads and react appropriately when encountering SMVs — whether those vehicles are construction, service or farm related. Even the campaign’s mascot, SAM, patterned after the orange, triangular SMV emblem mounted on slow-moving vehicles, is an acronym for “Slow down, Assess your surroundings, and Move with caution.”
“The Maryland Highway Safety Office was quick to support the campaign,” noted Burrier. “They have been instrumental partners in creating the driver education lesson as well as digital ads, billboards and viral commercials, illustrating the interest of drivers.”
Education for farmers to know how to best prevent crashes is also part of the solution. The campaign offers safety checklist posters, window clings and “Tailgate Talks” videos to cover the primary safety points for SMV drivers.
“Large equipment adds hazards to any thoroughfare as farmers drive to outlying fields or transport products to market or processing facilities,” said Joshua Appenzeller, Maryland Soybean Board Chairman. “We urge all drivers of SMVs to make sure they are doing all they can to be seen, be courteous to other motorists and, as much as possible, avoid roads and highways when consumer traffic is heaviest.”
The www.FindMeDriving.com campaign is an opportunity for all motorists to utilize the campaign’s free resources and social content. Share them with your family and co-workers. Distribute them across your community to increase driver awareness for sharing the road with other drivers.
“We also ask for drivers to be patient when coming upon a slow-moving vehicle,” concluded Appenzeller. “Even if you have to slow down to 25 mph and follow a combine for two miles, it’s less than three extra minutes – about the same as waiting on a traffic light.”
For More Information:
Danielle Bauer Farace, Executive Director
Maryland Soybean Board
443-812-4526 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Maryland Soybean Board is seeking proposals for projects that promote soybeans or their many by-products. Interested applicants should submit their proposals by July 15.
The Maryland Soybean Board (MSB) recently released their Soybean Sampler Annual Report, demonstrating how the soy checkoff has worked to build value for Maryland farmers over the past year.
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