How does the soybean checkoff work?
The SD Soybean Checkoff fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30. Soon after July 1, our board elects officers to serve for a period of one year. Organizing Checkoff board meetings and preparing an agenda takes forward planning and input from the checkoff board members, SD Soybean staff, and soybean farmers. The Chairman calls meetings of the South Dakota Soybean Checkoff Council. Board members vote on available meeting dates guided by staff who manage our events calendar.
In-person meetings achieve the best discussion and outcomes, but we occasionally hold shorter meetings via webinar. Since our board members are also seated on several organization boards to represent the soy checkoff, available dates when everyone on our board can attend is sometimes a challenge.
Over the course of a year, we work with approximately thirty different organizations and agencies in our quest to create demand for soy. Throughout the year, we invite representatives from partnering national, regional, and local agriculture organizations and others that utilize or help us promote soybeans. They share information about projects funded by checkoff dollars and keep us up to date on advancements in their industry.
During the summer months, we host trade teams that consist of buyers of soybeans, meal and oil from foreign countries. They come to our farms to see how South Dakota farmers care for their soybean fields. They are more and more attentive of practices we use to conserve soil and water. Sustainability has become very important to foreign buyers. During harvest, foreign trade teams visit our farms to see what the availability of soybeans will be. They are very impressed with the quality and cleanliness of South Dakota soybeans.
In late March/early April, we hold a two-day meeting. The first day, we meet at SDSU in the Raven Precision Agriculture building. We meet with project presenters to see and hear their proposals related to agronomic information sharing, fertility, diseases, weed control, and livestock feed usage. The second day, we review additional proposals sent by businesses, organizations, and agencies, and we begin budgeting for the next fiscal year. The board deliberates the annual budget with input and assistance from SD Soybean staff. The annual budget is finalized during our June board meeting. It is then forwarded to the United Soybean Board and the State of South Dakota.
We involve soybean farmers outside of our board to assist in carrying out our mission. Joint committees have been established with South Dakota Soybean Association board members to work on farmer education, communication, clean fuels, domestic market promotion, international market promotion, conservation, and public information.
We welcome you to stop by our soybean office in Sioux Falls and visit with our staff. They are an exceptionally talented team! We also welcome you to attend a future South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council meeting.
SD Soybean Research and Promotion Council Chairman
Published in the Summer 2022 SD Soybean Leader