Cultivating partnership among all involved with soy is leading priority for farmers’ new foundation.
Missouri’s soybean farmers continue looking forward, investing in innovation and research, partnerships supporting soybean production and markets, as well as in the future uses of soy. Today, Missouri farmers are taking another step forward with the Foundation for Soy Innovation.
“We often talk about there being a bright future for soy, from its uses in livestock nutrition to building products and biodiesel, especially in Missouri,” said Matt McCrate, chair of the Foundation and past president of the Missouri Soybean Association. “Through the Foundation for Soy Innovation, we’re bringing together those who need to be at the table to really raise the bar on the work farmers have been doing, and to ensure that we’re taking full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”
Capturing the value of future opportunities will come through two channels, partnership and scholarship. Key priorities for the Foundation are to engage stakeholders to build upon the work of Missouri’s soybean farmers in research, business development and marketing, and to educate and empower current and future generations working with soy. One of the primary initiatives of the Foundation will be to pursue grants and develop scholarship programs for hands-on work to advance innovation and create demand for soy.
“The Foundation for Soy Innovation will enhance the work soybean farmers are doing through their Merchandising Council and the soy checkoff, as well as their advocacy efforts through the Missouri Soybean Association,” said Gary Wheeler, who serves executive director for the farmer-led organizations. “This is an incredible opportunity to bring the entire soybean value chain, from producers and researchers to consumers, full-circle around shared values and opportunities.”
Last year, Missouri soybean farmers and stakeholders came together in a strategic planning process for their foundation. Through that process, they established a vision of “Strengthening the future for the soy value chain” for the organization, and a mission of, “Building strategic partnerships and leveraging resources throughout the soy value chain to advance innovation and grow demand.”
The Foundation for Soy Innovation is led by Matt McCrate, a farmer from Cape Girardeau. Peter Rost Jr., a farmer from New Madrid, serves as vice-chairman, and Robert Alpers, a farmer from Prairie Home serves as the secretary/treasurer. Gary Wheeler serves as the Coalition’s executive director, and Sarah Ezell will lead fundraising efforts for the group as its director of development.
To learn more about the Foundation for Soy Innovation, its founders and the opportunities ahead, visit soyfoundation.org.