With the cooperation of the United Soybean Board and the soybean checkoff, the USDA Office of Inspector General recently concluded an 18-month review and has announced that it found no basis for allegations made by the American Soybean Association.
“USB directors and staff are encouraged by the OIG’s report,” says Philip Bradshaw, USB chairman and soybean farmer from Griggsville, Ill. “The report confirms that, as farmer-directors, we’re doing our jobs as financially responsibly as the federal law that created the soybean checkoff set out for us to do. USB will continue to move forward in achieving profit opportunities for every U.S. soybean farmer.”
A survey of U.S. soybean farmers conducted in February showed that 75 percent of U.S. soybean farmers support the soybean checkoff. Based on the most recent return-on-investment study required by federal law, U.S. soybean farmers received a $6.40 return for every one checkoff dollar invested for U.S. soy research and promotion. In addition, last year U.S. soybean farmers had the opportunity to request a referendum on the soybean checkoff and only 759 of more than 589,000 eligible U.S. soybean farmers did so.
“Soybean checkoff farmer-leaders appreciate the continued support of our fellow soybean farmers,” says Bradshaw. “We look forward to our continued productive partnership with USDA that enables us to invest in programs that work to strengthen the bottom line for every U.S. soybean farmer.”
USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA-AMS has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.