Ohioan participating in USB’s “See for yourself” program

Farmer-leaders of the soy checkoff recently informed 10 U.S. soybean farmers of their selection for the 2013 See for Yourself program, an intensive, weeklong educational experience that helps soybean farmers learn more about their checkoff and industry.

“We at the national soy checkoff are thrilled with the interest we’ve seen this year in this important program,” said David Hartke, a soybean farmer from Teutopolis, Ill., and chair of the United Soybean Board (USB) Audit and Evaluation program, which sponsors See for Yourself. “I think we have an outstanding group of participants this year, all of whom I see as having great leadership potential for the ag industry going forward.”

The group includes Jeff Heimerl, from Licking County near Johnstown. The participants were selected through an application process and represent soybean-growing states around the country.

Participants will gather July 18-26 and learn about checkoff and soy industry activities in St. Louis and the countries of Panama and Colombia.

They will see how their domestic and international customers beyond the elevator use soy meal and oil. They will also see their checkoff funds in action by visiting a number of sites that represent their biggest customers, including animal agriculture, which uses nearly 98% of U.S. soy meal, and the food industry, which uses two-thirds of U.S. soy oil. Participants will also visit sites that demonstrate the importance of farmers’ freedom to operate.

“Many past See forYourself participants say they had no idea the checkoff works for soybean farmers in as many ways as it does,” Hartke said. “Additionally, participants have the chance to provide feedback directly to me and other farmer-leaders on the checkoff programs they learn about. Hearing from farmers is one of the best ways we can evaluate checkoff investments.”

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