Like producers of other commodities, such as beef, dairy and eggs, soybean farmers collectively invest a portion of their end-of-season profits to fund research and promotion efforts through a commodity checkoff program.
The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5 percent of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 68 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Board.
The soybean checkoff helps facilitate market growth and creation by funding and directing marketing, research and commercialization programs. By building demand both at home and abroad, the soybean checkoff helps ensure a strong and profitable future for U.S. soybean farmers.
The United Soybean Board (USB) and the American Soybean Association (ASA) are two different organizations with one focus: the success of U.S. soybean farmers. Both groups serve this purpose in different ways. Whereas USB administers soybean checkoff activities focusing on research and market development and expansion, ASA focuses on state and national policy issues, which by law the checkoff can’t.