Illinois soybean farmers chosen for world initiative

BLOOMINGTON — Three Illinois farmers have been elected to help the soybean industry grow globally.

Illinois Soybean Association directors Gary Berg, Daryl Cates and Jeff Lynn will help lead the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health for 2014-15.

Sixteen soybean farmers from 11 states recently were elected to help build new markets for U.S. soy.

Berg is ISA District 13 director from St. Elmo, Cates is the association’s assistant secretary-treasurer and District 15 director from Columbia, and Lynn is an at-large director from Oakford.

“We thank these visionary soybean growers who lead (the initiative) to trail blaze new global markets for U.S. soy protein,” says ASA President Ray Gaesser. “Russia’s recent import sanctions are yet another reminder that U.S. farmers need a diverse customer base.”

The initiative has succeeded, he said, in cultivating U.S. soy trade in developing countries in Africa, Central America and other areas where the economies are growing faster than the developed world.

Developing country businesses are expanding by putting U.S. soy inside breads, beverages, meats and more for humans, as well as livestock and aquaculture feeds. As a result, the world initiative’s supply chain partners are able to help fill the protein gap that exists in many developing country populations’ diets.

The United States Department of Agriculture projects developing countries’ demand for ag products will increase faster than their production and will account for 92 percent of the total increase in world oilseed and meat imports by 2022.

The world initiative program is managed from the American Soybean Association’s world headquarters in St. Louis. For more information, visit www.wishh.org.

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