Three Honored, Resolutions Set during Annual Meeting

SoybeanFarmers_CapitolSteps_031115Missouri’s soybean growers met in Jefferson City March 11 to set policy resolutions, recognize those making special contributions to the state’s soybean value chain, and to celebrate the bright future ahead as part of the Missouri Soybean Association’s annual meeting.

“Soybeans are Missouri’s top cash crop and soybean farmers are an important voice for Missouri agriculture, as well as for transportation, exports and economic development.” said Tom Raffety, a southeast Missouri farmer and president of the Missouri Soybean Association. “The Missouri Soybean Association is the farmers’ voice in Jefferson City, and our growers were well-represented this week, both in the Capitol and among their peers and industry partners.”

The Association’s honorees were selected by the board of directors and staff earlier this year for their contributions to growing awareness and markets for Missouri-grown soybeans. The honorees included:

  • Cindy Faulkner of New Madrid, Mo. for her support of the Missouri Soybean Association and advocacy efforts in southeast Missouri and statewide. Faulkner served on the Missouri Soybean Association board of directors for 14 years, before retiring earlier this year. She and her husband Rick farm in New Madrid County, raising soybeans, corn and cotton.
  • Cliff Smith of Biofuels, LLC in Mexico, Mo. for his contributions to Missouri’s growing biodiesel industry. Smith serves as the plant manager for one of Missouri’s highest-volume biodiesel plants and is a spokesperson for biodiesel at the state and national levels.
  • Darrin Peters of Fenton, Mo. for his work with the Rockwood Summit High School biodiesel program. Peters teaches high school chemistry and advises the students working to process and test their own biodiesel. He was instrumental in the development and construction of the school’s new building for the biodiesel program and continues to share his enthusiasm for bringing classroom education and real-world examples together for students daily.

The Missouri Soybean Association annual meeting also included a breakfast and a keynote address by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, followed by a brief business meeting and review of the Association’s resolutions.

Following the Attorney General’s remarks, Missouri soybean farmers then headed to the Capitol for personal visits with their legislators to discuss the priorities set earlier in the day. Those priorities included advocating for support for Missouri’s biodiesel industry and the Missouri Biodiesel Producer Incentive Fund, a bill addressing harvest weight limits for trucks hauling grain in Missouri, and funding for soybean-related research.

In addition to those activities, the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council hosted an open lunch in the Capitol’s 3rd floor rotunda. That event, which featured bbq from Zardas of Kansas City, focused on the impact biodiesel has on Missouri’s economy, rural communities and farm families. Missouri soybean growers and biodiesel plant staff and leaders were on hand to discuss the renewable fuel.

The growers’ biodiesel discussion included the latest production numbers, showing that Missouri produced nearly 200 million gallons of the renewable fuel in 2014, and that nationwide, the biodiesel industry is credited with providing for more than 62,000 jobs. Missouri’s biodiesel production uses the oil from more than 50,000 bushels of soybeans, providing additional demand for Missouri-grown beans.

The Missouri Soybean Association’s annual meeting is one of many opportunities for growers and legislators to connect throughout the year. To learn more about how the Missouri Soybean Association works to increase the profitability of Missouri soybean farmers through advocacy and education efforts across the state. To learn more, visit Missouri Soybeans online at mosoy.org.