The United Soybean Board approved $65 million in funding for more than 85 projects during its meeting in Omaha, Neb. July 17–19.
Gregg Fujan, United Soybean Board member and Nebraska Soybean Board ex officio, said the three target areas for project funding were oil, meal and sustainability.
“In my particular area, we focused on high oleic soybean promotion and education, whether it be in the food sector or industrial uses sector,” Fujan said.
Projects to promote and support biodiesel and improve the oil quality and fatty acid profile were also approved. In the soybean meal target area, projects targeting increased meal quality were prioritized to address the gradual decline of protein levels in soybeans, as well as genetic improvements and industrial uses.
Fujan said sustainability continued to be a focus for the United Soybean Board.
“Our customers are demanding a sustainable product because their customers are demanding a sustainable product,” Fujan said. “Those processors are looking to us to provide them with a sustainably grown product with the smallest environmental footprint.”
The amount of leveraged funding available helped subsidize the various projects. In the oil target area alone, Fujan said that for every checkoff dollar invested, there are partners investing 76 cents. The total leveraged funding for next year’s projects is $136 million.
“I think that’s a great part of what’s happening with the checkoff investment,” Fujan said. “When making project funding decisions, we always ask if it’s an effective and efficient use of farmer checkoff dollars. We’re trying to create the best return on investment.”
Information provided by the United Soybean Board.