USB's 'See for Yourself' tour includes biodiesel stop

By Erin Voegele | June 14, 2011

In July a group of U.S. soybean farmers will have the opportunity to see their checkoff dollars in action as part of the United Soybean Board’s fourth annual “See for Yourself” program. The soybean checkoff has selected 10 farmers to participate in this year’s event, which will include tours of several facilities that utilize soybeans and soybean oil.

“There is no better way to show someone the value of their investment than to show them the results firsthand,” said Rich Stern, USB Audit & Evaluation program chair and a soybean farmer from Cream Ridge, N.J.

The program Farmers taking part in the program will learn about the use of soy biodiesel at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, travel on a barge that transports U.S. soy and visit a company that makes soy ink, before heading to the number one market for U.S. soybean meal—Mexico—to get a firsthand look at the massive PROAN farm in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. They will visit the state-of-the-art facility and hear why PROAN chooses to source soybean meal from the United States over the countries. They will also visit an aquaculture farm and a refinery that produces soy and palm oil.

 According to Stern, the program has included a biodiesel stop each year. One reason the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was an attractive option for this year’s tour is that the facility has been a huge supporter of biodiesel, both advocating and promoting use of the fuel, Stern continued. The airport fuels its maintenance vehicles with biodiesel blended fuel, and servers as a great example of large-scale use of the fuel. The fact that the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is using biodiesel with such success really sends a strong message to the public about the benefits of the fuel, Stern said.

The goal of the program is to have the participating farmers walk away with a level of comfort regarding how their checkoff dollars are spent. “The checkoff is really a great program and the farmers that are spending the checkoff dollars really take this personally and have a passion to make sure the money is being spent properly,” Stern said. “They are using the checkoff dollars to really further the soybean industry.”



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