Soy News October 2001
Arkansas Board Welcomes New Members
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board welcomed two new board members during its August meeting, held in Fayetteville. The two new members are Robert Stobaugh of Atkins and Todd Allen of West Memphis. Mr. Stobaugh replaces Mary Ratcliffe and Mr. Allen replaces Bobby Crow.
Also during the meeting the board elected officers for the 2001-2002 fiscal year. Mr. David Walt from Dumas was elected to a second term as Chairman, and Mr. Jerry Ford of Lake Village was elected as Vice Chairman to fill the office vacated by Mary Ratcliffe. Mr. David Feilke was elected to a second term as Secretary/ Treasurer. It was also noted that Mr. Jerry Ford had been appointed to his third three-year term as an Arkansas representative on the United Soybean Board.
During the meeting the board participated in a tour of soybean research activities on the campus of the University of Arkansas. The tour included both field and laboratory visits of activities made possible by the soybean checkoff. Board members received updates on numerous projects currently underway at the University.
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Farmers seek biodiesel at Farm Progress Show
Attendees of the Farm Progress Show Sept. 25-27 in Lafayette, Indiana, showed an increased interest in bio-diesel, according to National Biodiesel Board (NBB) President Jack Hartman.
"The number one question people had was 'where can I get biodiesel?'" Hartman said. "We encouraged them to contact their fuel distributors and let them know that demand is out there for biodiesel and biodiesel blends. Biodiesel is available nationwide, but of the 100 or so major fleets using it, most are centrally fueled. There are more distributors making it available to farmers throughout the Midwest, so once they know the demand is there, they'll carry it."
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Checkoff Farmer-Leaders Craft Plans to Improve Farmer Profitability
The 62 farmer-leaders who direct the soybean checkoff at the national level crafted a new set of action plans designed to improve the profitability of U.S. soybean farmer. The plans seek to break records for U.S. soybean exports and domestic soybean utilization, create more new uses for U.S. soybeans, and improve the composition of U.S. soybeans.
"The farmer-driven soybean checkoff created these new action plans with one goal in mind," says USB Chairman Doug Magnus, a soybean farmer from Slayton, Minnesota. "We believe each plan will be effective toward creating a stronger environment for U.S. soybean farmers to maximize profits."
The USDA predicts more acres of soybeans will be harvested in the United States this year than ever before. Soybean checkoff farmer-leaders will invest the greatest percentage of checkoff resources toward selling this year's crop across our borders and overseas. Latest USDA figures show that despite a strong U.S. dollar, U.S. exports of soybeans total more than 949 million bushels, approximately 4 percent ahead of last year's pace. U.S. soybean meal exports are up 11 percent. Soybean checkoff investments help leverage matching soybean export promotion dollars from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, effectively doubling the effort to sell U.S. soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil abroad.
Soybean checkoff farmer-leaders also plan to devote a large share of their effort to increase domestic soybean utilization by increasing the market for soy-based biodiesel. More than 80 major government municipal and utility company vehicle fleets now use the soy-based alternative fuel to help meet clean air standards. Thirty-four states are considering initiatives to increase utilization of soy-based biodiesel, and 16 have already put them into place.
The commitment by U.S. soybean farmers to develop new soybean uses helped the checkoff secure a half-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a commercially viable soy-based paint stripper. Plus, the soybean checkoff's production research program will devote the majority of its resources toward improving the composition of U.S. soybeans to keep U.S. soybean farmers ahead of growing competition from other oilseeds, and other soybean farmers, such as those in Brazil and Argentina.
The new plans make up the largest share of USB's new fiscal year budget, which totals approximately $33 million dollars. The percentage breakdown is: International Market Development-32 percent; Production Research-21 percent; Domestic Market Development-16 percent; New Uses Development-11 percent; Communication - 11 percent; Administration of Programs-5 percent; Program Evaluation-2 percent; USDA Oversight-1 percent; Executive Committee Projects Managed by Staff-1 percent.
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Indiana Fuel Station Sells Biodiesel to Public
A Bluffton, Indiana service station owner is helping reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. Steffen Oil Co. began selling biodiesel blended fuel late last month at its service station at 705 W. Market Street in Bluffton. It is the first station in the state to carry B20 (20 percent biodiesel/80 percent diesel). Owner Dave Oswalt said he hopes other stations start to carry it when they see how well it sells in the area. Other states with public pumps selling biodiesel include California, Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Hawaii and South Carolina.
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Soy Gaining More Acceptance with Americans
More Americans are aware that soy may lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, thanks partly to U.S. soybean farmers' checkoff-funded efforts to increase consumers' understanding and perceptions of soy and its health benefits.
According to the annual "Consumer Health Tracking Study" funded by the soybean checkoff, 39 percent of consumers are aware of specific health benefits of soy. Of those, 42 percent recognize soy can lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease. That's up from 24 percent in 1999 when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved a soy health claim that states consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day may help reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association also recommends eating soy along with a diet low in saturated fat, which can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Overall, 69 percent of consumers consider soy products to be healthy. Consumers also believe soy is a good source of energy, possesses high-fiber/digestive benefits and provides menopausal symptom relief.
Americans are also changing their eating habits to include more soy. The study revealed nearly 90 percent of consumers are at least somewhat concerned about the nutritional content of the food they eat, and 72 percent have in fact changed their eating habits because of health and nutrition concerns. This is evident with the increase in the amount of soybeans utilized in soyfood products.
According to the study, 97 percent of consumers are aware of soyfoods products, and more than one-quarter now use soy products once a week or more. Ninety percent believe nutrition to be very or somewhat important when purchasing groceries, and more than 70 percent are willing to pay more for healthier foods. Nearly 90 percent of consumers surveyed perceive soybean oil as healthy, although just 5 percent realize that soybean oil is the primary ingredient in vegetable oil, the most commonly used cooking oil in the United States and preferred by 71 percent of consumers.
The soybean checkoff is working to increase domestic soy utilization to 1.75 billion bushels and overall global utilization of U.S. soybeans to 3 billion bushels by 2005. Last year, 1.6 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans were consumed domestically through such products as soyfoods, animal protein feeds and biodiesel.
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2000-2001 Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board:
Mr. David Walt, Dumas, Chairman
*Mr. Jerry Ford, Lake Village, Vice-Chairman
*Mr. David Feilke, Stuttgart, Secretary/Treasurer
*Mr. Todd Allen, West Memphis
Mr. Thad Freeland, Tillar
Mr. Dick Howard, Clarkedale
Mr. Roger Pohlner, Fisher
Dr. Art Simpson, Marked Tree
Mr. Robert Stobaugh, Atkins
Note: * denotes a representative to the United Soybean Board
Staffing provided by Warren Carter, Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation.
For questions about any information in this newsletter or for more information on board-funded programs, please contact any of the above board members, call 501-228-1238, or write Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, P. O. Box 31, Little Rock, AR 72203.
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For additional information about any board-related activity contact:
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ATTN: Warren Carter
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