The frost covered ground in Missouri makes it easy to forget that just a few months ago, soybean farmers worked late into the night, praying for triple digit yields while harvesting their crop. Now, farm families gather in the warmth of their home to celebrate the holiday season and look back on what Missouri Soybeans’ hopes was a meaningful year for growers. Meanwhile, the recently harvested beans are already being crushed and processed into products that will soon hit shelves in the upcoming year.
From candles to car tires, soy products surround us every day. However, many of the soy-based alternatives we often rely on wouldn’t be possible without the wisdom and forethought of Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s (MSMC) farmer-leaders.
“Developing emerging revenue streams is a core tenet of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council,” said Aaron Porter, MSMC chairman.
The impact of a producer’s hard work is felt far beyond the field and as the year comes to an end, it is time to reflect on the efforts and achievements of the past. From harvest to home, you are Missouri soybean farmers and your roots run deep.
You keep the earth clean.
Generations of soybean farmers have been called to be stewards of the land and have taken up the mantle of nurturing the earth. Through regenerative agriculture practices, like no-till and cover crop planting, growers are frontline soldiers in the efforts to reduce climate change and protect the land, air and water around us.
Innovations like biodiesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) reduce the carbon footprint and provide a domestic option for energy independence. Biodegradable plastics ensure that waste is not left for future generations to clean. Soybean oil replaces petroleum in rubber to offer a more sustainably produced product.
You provide thousands of jobs and keep thousands fed.
Each year, the economic impact of the soy industry in our state far exceeds its $3.5 billion production value. In fact, tens of thousands of Missourians are employed by soybean farmers and their stakeholders. Spanning the entirety of the value chain from production farms to feed mills, workers are empowered by the soybean industry to guarantee that soy is the preferred ingredient for protein and oil.
“Our farmers are steadfast and humble leaders in their efforts to feed the world,” said Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybeans CEO and executive director. “While the consumer may forget the countless hours of labor, research and innovation that went into making their meal, Missouri soybean farmers’ promise to provide a sustainable product that means more to them than their profit margin. It is about ensuring an abundant food supply, investing in the land and creating pathways for future successes. We are incredibly lucky to serve the farmers and assist them in keeping that promise.”
New varieties of soybeans are produced each year by public and private breeding programs that move the industry forward. High-oleic, food-grade beans, like SOYLEIC® soybeans, are the result of these programs and provide healthier options to traditional ingredients. Soy flour, a gluten-free alternative, is made from roasted beans that have been ground down into a fine powder. Finally, holiday dinners are made a little sweeter by incorporating soy lecithin, a key ingredient found in chocolate and a byproduct of the degumming process used to produce soybean oil.
You make a house a home.
Although the carefully selected scented candles and paint-covered walls bring the product from the field to our fingertips, it is the lessons, traditions and memories of farm families that make a house a home.
Farmers teach us that you should work hard for your achievements but remain humble when asked about them; that you should say grace before a meal and leave time throughout the day to bow your head; and that no matter how hard your life may seem, the opportunity to show kindness to your neighbor never comes at too high a cost.
In our homes, the value of a warm meal is never forgotten and the ritual of sitting around the dinner table is never missed. For farm families, a child’s first time behind the wheel comes much earlier than sixteen and the farmer’s retirement comes much later than 65. Because the love of the land is more than just a job, it’s an investment in their legacy.
You’re fighting for the future.
Because the story of soy goes much deeper than the monetary value it brings to farmers. Their investments illustrate the values and beliefs of the industry. Their practices connect tradition to innovation. Their new uses pave the way for preparation to meet opportunity.
Often times, it is easy to forget to look back at the year and appreciate the smaller moments; the ones that seem insignificant at the time but that add up to be incredible. However, this holiday season is exactly the time to do just that because these decisions have a much greater impact than you might ever imagine. The actions that are taken today reap hope for tomorrow.
We’re Missouri Soybean Farmers.
There’s dirt under our nails,
And on the soles of our boots,
But we keep the earth clean.
We don’t wear a suit and tie,
Or work a 9-to-5,
But we provide thousands of jobs,
and keep thousands fed.
We’re up before you wake,
And sometimes we miss bedtime,
But we make a house a home.
We keep tradition on the table,
And our families at the forefront,
Because we’re fighting for the future.
And we’re students,
And we’re innovators,
And we’re servants,
Because soy is bigger than us.
Because with soy, what we sow today will reap hope for tomorrow.
Our roots run deep.