Seeing the broader perspective
A big uncertainty for South Dakota soybean growers is weather, which affects them in more ways than one. It hit most eastern South Dakota farmers hard last year in the form of severe drought. They were hit again, if indirectly, when a tropical storm clobbered southern Louisiana, setting back grain handling at the Port of New Orleans. “The hurricane really damaged one of the Cargill plants,” said Todd Hanten, a South Dakota farmer and board member for the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
Heather Beaner’s seat on the South Dakota Soybean Checkoff Board is her voice in directing how farmer checkoff funds are spent. The Spink County farmer, a former U.S. Air Force lawyer, says the Soybean Checkoff projects she favors involve the management of pests unique to Northern soybean growers. “The pests that we face, while there is some version of them around the other soybean growing areas in the country, they’re specific to us in this colder, more western climate,” said Beaner, “and so I really appreciate the research that South Dakota State University (SDSU) does.”
Checkoff Board members, including Beaner, meet periodically with SDSU researchers to determine which projects get priority. “And they’ve got some really fascinating pest control – either weed, or bug infestation, or things like white mold – that hit our South Dakota soybeans in a way that other states just don’t have the same problems to the level that we have or the nuances that come with living this far north.”
South Dakota soybean farmers can be candidates for board seats to help direct the spending of the South Dakota Soybean Checkoff. The farmer-led South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (SDSRPC) has three board seats up for election this year. One director will be elected from each of three districts: District Three, consisting of the southeastern South Dakota counties of Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, and Turner; District Four, the east-central counties of Brookings, Lake, Miner, Moody, and Sanborn; and District Seven, which is Brown, Campbell, Corson, Edmunds, Harding, McPherson, and Perkins Counties, in north-central South Dakota.
The South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (SDSRPC) is seeking farmers to fill leadership positions on a state and national level. Apply to become a director of how soybean checkoff dollars are used to create markets worldwide, develop new uses, and drive the demand for South Dakota soybeans.