See how your soybean checkoff is working for you.

Congress passed a provision as part of the 1990 farm bill to form the checkoff at the request of soybean farmers throughout the nation. In 1991, farmers across the U.S. voted to make it official, and they solidified their support for investing in themselves through the checkoff through a referendum in 1994.

Missouri’s soybean farmers hadn’t waited for Congress to act – they’d set up their own state soybean checkoff program years before. Those farmers recognized that they were stronger together in solving the challenges they all faced – ranging from battling Mother Nature to growing demand for their beans to adding value to their harvests.

In setting up a soybean checkoff in Missouri, farmers laid the foundation for the success we’ve seen over the last several decades, from record-breaking yields, rapid growth in international markets, developing new uses for soy, and ensuring we continue to have robust demand for our soy here at home. Those farmers showed incredible wisdom, knowing that investing in a long game and that working with the right partners is just as important as where you start.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

–Warren Buffett

Today, we have incredible tools and technology at our disposal to off-set so many of the challenges coming our way – from drought and flood (sometimes in the same year) to struggles with our international markets and changing consumer preferences. Forming the soybean checkoff was in many ways planting that shade tree – adding value to soybean oil by developing and marketing biodiesel, which is now paying dividends in the form of a 15 percent price support for beans, helping livestock producers see the value soy protein and amino acids can have in feed rations, and making possible the research that’s led to SOYLEIC™ – the non-GMO high oleic trait technology that addresses hydrogenation and trans fats in the consumer food marketplace. Checkoff-funded research and partnerships have opened doors to new markets around the world, too.

Whether it’s connecting with our elected officials around a complex policy issue, understanding market fluctuations and marketing decisions, or finding resources ranging from highspeed internet connectivity to mental health care in rural areas, the agriculture community is working together here in Missouri and nationally. This year hasn’t been an easy one, and neither was last year – but that doesn’t take away our shade trees, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep planting them for those who come behind us.