The soy checkoff presented its Outstanding Achievement Award to University of Minnesota researcher and educator James Orf, Ph.D. Orf is credited with creating more than 50 general-purpose soybean varieties, as well as more than 60 special-purpose varieties in use throughout Minnesota.
“This is a great honor, and it makes me want to work even harder to make sure that the things I do have value not only for the farmers who grow soybeans, but for all consumers who use these products,” says Orf.
The soy checkoff’s Excellence in Meal Award went to Stephen Muench, Ph.D., who for 15 years served as a liaison between United Soybean Board (USB) and many of the scientists conducting checkoff-funded research before retiring in 2013. Muench helped lay the foundation for USB’s production-research activities and was instrumental in the development of USB’s soybean composition breeding programs, which served as the beginning of the Better Bean Initiative, the beginning of USB’s efforts at soybean quality improvement.
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.
For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.