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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events -- in cartoon form
Blog: Soybean checkoff helps farmers profits
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By Dave Granlund
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at ...
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Dave Granlund's Editorial Cartoons
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at age 16, he was published on the editorial pages of local weekly newspapers. His eight-year enlistment in the USAF included assignments with SAC HQ and with Headquarters Command, where his duties included work as head illustrator for the Presidential Inaugural Subcommittee and providing briefing charts for the White House and support for Air Force One. As part of NATO in Operation Looking Glass with the Airborne Command Post, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Dave's newspaper honors include awards from UPI, New England Press Association, International Association of Business Communicators, The Associated Press and Massachusetts Press Association. His work has been nominated numerous times for the Pulitzer Prize. His pastimes and interests include history, wood carving, antique tractors and Swedish language studies.
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May 21, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Becky Buckrop



As they get their own crops in the ground, the farmer-directors of the United Soybean Board (USB) and soy checkoff will also be busy planning the activities for fiscal year 2013–each designed explicitly to maximize the profit opportunities of their fellow U.S. soybean farmers. That means carefully investing the funds that U.S. soybean farmers entrust them with each year.



As they get their own crops in the ground, the farmer-directors of the United Soybean Board (USB) and soy checkoff will also be busy planning the activities for fiscal year 2013–each designed explicitly to maximize the profit opportunities of their fellow U.S. soybean farmers. That means carefully investing the funds that U.S. soybean farmers entrust them with each year.







“My fellow 68 soybean farmers and I who serve on USB invest these funds as if we’re standing alongside our families and our neighbors, whose trust we treasure,” says USB Chair Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D. “Every day, with every checkoff activity, we work to keep that trust. And U.S. soybean farmers should expect no less.”







Each activity USB funds – from investing in research to protect and increase yields, to expanding markets for U.S. soy exports abroad, and more – include explicit objectives, strategies and, most importantly, performance measurements subject to the review and approval of the entire farmer-driven board, as well as of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The federal law creating the soy checkoff also requires that a set percentage of all checkoff funds collected be invested to audit and evaluate programs and projects each year by a panel of USB farmer-directors that make up USB’s Audit & Evaluation (A&E) program.







The law also requires USB to engage an objective third party every five years to measure the return on investment (ROI) that U.S. soybean farmers receive in exchange for their national-checkoff dollar. The last ROI study, conducted in 2009 by Texas A&M University, found that U.S. soybean farmers see a net return of $6.40 for each checkoff dollar invested.







The rigorous checks and balances of the national soy checkoff do not stop there. The federal law that created the soy checkoff in 1990 requires USB to ensure that all soy checkoff funds are used in accordance with federal law, including the funds invested by the 31 Qualified State Soybean Boards. So, the farmers who run USB’s A&E program work with an independent compliance coordinator dedicated to this purpose.







“Our fiscal year begins Oct. 1, 2012, and we’re kicking into heavy planning for the future,” says Kummer. “As usual, our official mission will be at the center of our work: to maximize the profit opportunities of all U.S. soybean farmers, complying with the federal law that created the soy checkoff .”



    



The 69 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.

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