Soybean Business May - June 2021

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Longtime Council Director Calling it a Day MSR&PC’s 2021 Annual Report Biodiesel Open Tees Up Return

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P.8 P.14 P.18 P.38 P.70

No one can say Jim Call didn’t put in the work. The retiring Council director and former chair looks back on more than two decades of helping direct soybean checkoff investments.

Minnesota agriculture drives the state’s economy. We break down the numbers from an MSR&PCsponsored analysis that tells the full story of agriculture’s impact on Minnesota’s bottom line.

Back by popular demand, Soybean Business held its second annual reader photo contest this spring. The submissions came into focus, painting a picture of Minnesota agriculture.

For the first time, Soybean Business is publishing MSR&PC’s Annual Report, a Jeopardy-themed look back at the best in 2020 checkoff-sponsored projects.

Fore! After an in-person hiatus in 2020, the Biodiesel Open is returning to the links this summer. The annual fundraiser helps fuel MSGA’s advocacy mission in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. ABOUT THE COVER This spring, the farmer-led Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council put its head together to find a creative way to connect with their communities while also promote the latest innovations from the soybean checkoff. Introducing Driving Soy: From the Seed Bed to Tire Tread, a grassroots campaign to give thanks to first responders by donating a set of Goodyear’s soybased Eagle Enforcer tires. Illustration by Doug Monson.

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Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Officers and ASA Directors: OFFICERS Jamie Beyer President Wheaton, MN Traverse County Mike Skaug Vice President Beltrami, MN Polk County Bob Worth Treasurer Lake Benton, MN Lincoln County Darin Johnson Secretary Wells, MN Faribault County


Steve Commerford New Ulm, MN Brown County

Bob Lindemann Brownton, MN McLeod County

Paul Freeman Fergus Falls, MN Pope County

Ryan Mackenthun Brownton, MN McLeod County

Brian Fruechte Verdi, MN Lincoln County Gary Gertz Jasper, MN Rock County Theresia Gillie Hallock, MN Kittson County Tom Grundman Osakis, MN Douglas County

George Goblish Vesta, MN Redwood County

Adam Guetter Wabasso, MN Redwood County

Bill Gordon Worthington, MN Nobles County

Chris Hansen Clarks Grove, MN Freeborn County

Christopher Hill Brewster, MN Jackson County

Corey Hanson Gary, MN Norman County

Jim Kukowski Strathcona, MN Roseau/LOW Counties

Jeremy Hanson Morristown, MN Dakota/Rice Counties

Joel Schreurs Tyler, MN Lincoln County

Jeremiah Hasnedl St Hilaire, MN Pennington/Red Lake County


Matt Heers Owatonna, MN Steele County

Kelli Sorenson Morgan, MN Redwood County


Ray Hewitt Le Sueur, MN Scott/Le Sueur Counties

Ed Arndorfer Willmar, MN Kandiyohi County

Brad Hovel Cannon Falls, MN Goodhue County

Trevore Brekken Crookston, MN Polk County

Jim Jirava Ogema, MN Becker/Mahnomen Counties

Mark Brown St. James, MN Watonwan County

Jamie Seitzer Arlington, MN Nicollet/Sibley Counties

Steve Brusven Cottonwood, MN Yellow Medicine County

Bruce Nelsen Rose Creek, MN Mower County Keith Nelsen Westbrook, MN Cottonwood County Robert Nelsen Westbrook, MN Murray County Tim Nelson New Richland, MN Waseca County Michael Petefish Claremont, MN Dodge County Nathan Potucek Warren, MN Marshall County Andy Pulk Wannaska, MN Roseau/LOW Counties Jeff Sorenson Morgan, MN Redwood County Tim Rasmussen Fergus Falls Otter Tail/Grant Counties Cal Spronk Edgerton, MN Pipestone County Tim Stelling Osakis, MN Todd County Lawrence Sukalski Fairmont, MN Martin County Doug Toreen Bird Island, MN Renville County Earl Ziegler Good Thunder, MN Blue Earth County

EDITORIAL STAFF: Editor in Chief Doug Monson Sr. Director of Communications Minnesota Soybean 888-896-9678 Managing Editor Drew Lyon Sr. Manager of Communications Minnesota Soybean 888-896-9678 Art Director Eric Melhorn Funkiture, Inc. CIRCULATION: Soybean Business is published six times a year on behalf of Minnesota Soybean. Comments and suggestions can be submitted to: Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, 151 Saint Andrews Court, Suite 710, Mankato, MN 56001. ADVERTISING Sara Hewitt, Manager of Brand Development and Events 507-995-5208 | 888-896-9678 |

Advertising space reservations can be made by the 15th day of the month prior to publication. In consideration of the acceptance of the advertisement, the agency and the advertiser must, in respect of the contents of the advertisement, indemnify and save the publisher harmless against any expense arising from claims or actions against the publisher because of the publication of the content of the advertisement. Advertisements within this publication contain the opinions and information of the advertisers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Minnesota Soybean organizations or affiliated groups.

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Letter from the President Ready to Roll I recently joined our counterparts at the Minnesota Soybean Promotion & Research Council on a visit to the trading classroom used by North Dakota State University’s Dr. Bill Wilson, an internationally recognized expert on commodity trading, risk and agribusiness. Dr. Wilson watches worldwide soybean meal and oil markets closely and excitedly announced that we are living through one of the most exciting times – from the perspective of an economist. The soybean markets are rife with uncertainty and potential – volatility based on the typical ebbs and flows of market supply and demand, but also against the backdrop of potential and threatened federal and state legislation for sustainability pledges and carbon sequestration. Our checkoff dollars have supported the 2013 creation, establishment and ongoing promotion of the USSEC Sustainability Certification Program, a collaborative effort developed in partnership with the United Soybean Board and the American Soybean Association. While the ABCDs of our industry are rushing to impose and enforce a new margin of profit by creating their own certified pro-environment assurances, for U.S. soybean farm families, sustainability is not new. We have been documenting our sustainability commitment for nearly a decade. Ensuring that our sustainable soy is increasingly utilized as a replacement for carbonintense materials is great for agriculture and the environment – and Goodyear’s line of tires made with soybean oil is a great example. One personality trait that makes Minnesotans unique is our devotion to public service. The majority of families I know have a tie to their local volunteer fire departments, ambulance services and first responder units. Or they have someone who has served as a school board member, township supervisor, city councilor, mayor or county commissioner. These commitments represent far more in time and headaches than dollars; volunteering Minnesotans plug many leadership gaps in the fabric of small-town life. In college, I worked for two years as an EMT on the Stevens County Ambulance Service. During three 8-hour shifts, 365 days a year, we responded to car crashes, farm accidents, broken hips and drownings. At most scenes our arrival was preceded by law enforcement or fire officials, who ensured that the scene was safe and helped carry equipment or victims. Our ambulance service traveled hundreds of miles a day making daily transfers to metro and Mayo hospitals so rural patients could receive more advanced medical care in our urban hubs. My ties to public service are why I am beyond excited about Minnesota Soybean’s 2021 promotion: to donate soybean-based Goodyear tire sets to emergency response departments across our state. With support from your soybean checkoff dollars, Goodyear has engineered a process to reduce the amount of petroleum-based chemicals in vehicle tires by using plant-based soybean oil. Free tires for response vehicles is a win for the environment, a win for farmers and a win for our Minnesota emergency services! Goodyear’s soy tires have gained worldwide recognition: Goodyear recently received the Environmental Achievement of the Year for Tire Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence in Hanover, Germany. Now it’s time to encourage statewide recognition by soybean county chapters coordinating new tires for our local hero departments. Roll on, Minnesota! Jamie Beyer President, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association 4 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021


From researching new uses for soybeans to identifying new markets for U.S. soy, the soy checkoff is working behind the scenes to create new opportunities and increase profits for soybean farmers. We’re looking inside the bean, beyond the bushel and around the world to keep preference for U.S. soy strong. And it’s helping make a valuable impact for soybean farmers like you. See more ways the soy checkoff is maximizing profit opportunities for soybean farmers at

Brought to you by the soy checkoff. ©2018 United Soybean Board. Our Soy Checkoff and the Our Soy Checkoff mark are trademarks of United Soybean Board. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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COUNTY CARING By Soybean Business Staff

Many of Minnesota’s 44 organized soybean counties took action during the later winter/early spring to give back to first responders, schools and local nonprofits. Food for thought Seeing the value in supporting the local food shelves in their community, this spring Nicollet/Sibley county farmers made a monetary donation of $250 each to the St. Peter Food Shelf and the Sibley County Food Shelf. “As corn and soybean farmers, we know a majority of the products bought for a food shelf are by-products of the crops we grow,” Nicollet/Sibley County Corn & Soybean Secretary Kelsey Anderson said. “Whether it is a product that contains soybean oil or a product containing corn starch, we are proud to be able to support the food chain.” The board previously donated $1,200 worth of soybean by-products to both food shelves last November. Promoting education The Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers Association donated $1,000 to the Sleepy Eye Public School FFA chapter. The funds will be used to purchase new grain sieves for the fall crop show the FFA students participate in. “We strive to promote agriculture education, and the crop show is a great hands-on experience for the FFA students,” Board Chair Keith Lendt said. “Providing the funds for new equipment is one way we support students in agriculture.” The crop show affords FFA students a chance to exhibit a crop sample that is judged on appearance: uniform color and size as well as having no defects or unwanted debris. The students show samples of soybeans, corn,

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wheat, oats and other crops. The new grain sieves will allow the students to better clean the samples for the exhibit. Rescue time Fire and rescue departments in Kellogg and Planview received welcomed support from the Olmsted/Wabasha County Corn and Soybean Growers and their checkoff dollars. Kellogg and Planview Fire Department received $2,000 each to purchase farm rescue equipment. Without local, trained volunteers, rural communities would face longer response times to their calls for aid. “Helping our local departments in the purchase of the equipment will help our fellow farmers,” Board Chair Ben Storm said. “Farm safety is crucial to us and we need to have the departments well-prepared and equipped to be able assist in case of a farm accident.” Reading is fun-damental To celebrate National Reading Month, county boards from Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington-Red Lake, Polk and Roseau-Lake of the Woods sent books, including “My Family’s Soybean farm,” to area schools. “By giving these books, area school children can enjoy reading about agricultural while promoting reading,” the Marshall County Board wrote in a letter to schools. “The future of our communities depends on children, and supporting strategic programs in our community that help children succeed in education is critical.” Also in March, Polk, Norman, Marshall and Pennington-Red Lake counties ran soybean and corn trivia ads on local radio. Winners from each day were put in a drawing for a bag of soybean and corn promotional items.

Growth Prompts Growth Farmers know that as their acres expand and production increases, they may need to take on additional help to make

conventional varieties,” Nelson says. Roerig has experience as a crop scout for two growing

sure they can manage growth. Mustang Seeds finds itself in a

seasons. He was also an agronomy sales intern, working with

similar position--adding resources to make sure customers have

a team of territory managers and agronomists gaining valuable

the products, support and customer service that has become

knowledge of competitor seed and seed traits. Roerig also

synonymous with Mustang Seeds.

has additional experience with a local seed company doing a

Eden, South Dakota native and 2021 South Dakota State

variety of jobs in the field, office, and warehouse, which will be

University (SDSU) graduate Mason Roerig has been hired as

valuable to the production manager position. He will graduate

Mustang Seeds’ new Soybean Product Manager. The move was

with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from SDSU in May and

precipitated by Mustang Seeds’ growth.

begin working full time immediately following graduation.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity and excited about

“It will be exciting to learn from Dale and to make a

the partnership with GDM and the new products that will be

smooth transition,” Roerig says. “I’m looking forward

available exclusively to Mustang Seeds,” Roerig says.

to corresponding with growers, managing products and

Dale Nelson has served as production manager for Mustang

developing new products in the best way possible. I couldn’t

Seeds corn and soybean products. Because of growth in

ask for a better time to get involved because of Mustang Seeds’

Mustang Seeds’ product lines and geography, Nelson will

growth and the partnership with GDM.”

become Corn Product Manager while Roerig will focus on soybeans. “Due to our continued growth and loyal customers, we felt this will be a good long term move to continue to provide

With growth in soybeans and corn, Nelson says it became hard to manage both and give each crop the full attention that it takes. “We’re expanding into Wisconsin, Minnesota and farther

customers with the top performing soybeans and corn for their

into North Dakota, too,” Nelson explains. “Geographic

operations,” Nelson says.

expansion and volume growth are really driving this decision.”

Product managers work with the company’s seed grower

Because personal connection to Mustang Seeds customers

base. They line up location plots and work with district sales

and growers is important, Nelson says the transition from one

manager to develop a plan for future production needs. Nelson

product manager to two will happen slowly.

says product managers also analyze and tour plots, and work

“We want this process to be seamless. We’ll both be

with breeders on particular desired seed characteristics. In

working, but I’ll help and guide Mason,” Nelson says. “We

winter, product managers also help select new varieties that

feel we have a unique relationship with our customers and our

will be brought to full seed production.

growers, and we want to keep that going in the future.”

“Being independent, we have all the traits, so that adds a little complexity to the process, whether its E3, Xtendflex or

Learn more about what Mustang Seeds has to offer at

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LAST Longtime Council director steps down after more than two decades of leadership By Bailey Grubish Jim Call is known for his leadership skills throughout numerous organizations, but with his upcoming retirement from the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council he plans to spend more time on his multi-generational family farm. For a lifelong producer like Call, well, he was born that way. “You more or less have to have it in your blood to farm,” he said. He graduated college in Willmar with a parts merchandising degree. Call worked in that industry for a few years before returning to work on the family farm in 1974, and been involved on agriculture boards since 1995. In July, Call will retire from MSR&PC after more than 20 years helping to oversee Minnesota’s checkoff program. 8 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

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“Jim Call is a super great guy and awesome to work with,” MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka said. “He’s the ‘Marlboro Man’ of soybeans, and our entire organization salutes him for his decades of dedication toward serving Minnesota soybean farmers.” Call joined MSR&PC because he was interested in learning how his soybean checkoff dollars were invested. “Every farmer should be somewhat involved with either some local agriculture board or state or national board,” Call said. “I think it’s something a person has to do to learn more.” The Council is comprised of 15 directors who are elected to three-year terms and help direct the state’s checkoff dollars into research, market access and promotional efforts. Call has been a director since 1999. He served as council chair from 2003 to 2006. He wasn’t the most boisterous director, but Call’s words and wisdom carried weight, said his longtime colleague, Jim Willers. “He was always in a position of leadership and he 10 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

was always looked upon on our board and the United Soybean Board,” said Willers, the Council’s District 4 director. “When he spoke, you would listen because he always made common sense and understood what was going on. He was knowledgeable and always willing to help you if had a problem or an issue because of his experience from being on the board. I’ve always looked to the guys who were on the board before me because that’s where you get the knowledge from, and that would be him and (the late) Rob Hanks.” ‘Wealth of knowledge’ Exporting soybeans, international marketing, promoting biodiesel and the launch of the Ag Innovation Campus are just a few of the highlights of Call's tenure on the Council. Though checkoff dollars can’t be used for lobbying purposes, Call was instrumental in educating the public and legislators about the benefits of soy-based biodiesel. His work paid off in 2002 when Minnesota became the first state to make B2 (2% biodiesel) its

blending standard. “That was one of the accomplishments that we managed to do here,” Call said. “Minnesota has always been a leader in the biodiesel area.” Until his retirement, Call will continue to work with the Council on the Ag Innovation Campus. The crush facility in Crookston is set to start construction this spring, and Call envisions the AIC rejuvenating rural economies throughout the region. “I think that’s going to be a real plus for Minnesota farmers,” Call said. Council Director and former Chair Patrick O’Leary said Call’s leadership set a high standard for his colleagues. “Jim’s been on the board for long before I was on the board, but he’s been quite an asset on the Minnesota Soybean Board with his knowledge on the farm and his activities on USB and chairman on USB,” O’Leary said. Call was a director with USB for eight years and became chair in 2013. A highlight during his time as chair occurred

at the Global Trade Exchange in September 2014, when China agreed to purchase $2.3 billion worth (totaling 176 million bushels) of U.S. soybeans. “I was at the time chairman of the Council in Minnesota and there’s always opportunities to move up, so I thought about it and I decided to go on the national board,” Call said. His term on USB was marked by his involvement in an international marketing initiative and research efforts. “(USB) gives you a broader wealth of knowledge. You meet with all soybean producers and it gives you a wider perspective of the industry,” he said. In service to soybeans International marketing allowed Call to travel the world and meet with exporters and soybean buyers from other countries. He said Asian countries are some of the biggest markets because of population numbers, with China being the largest market for U.S. soybeans. As a Continued on page 12

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The Call family has been farming on the same land for five generations. member of USB, he traveled often, but Call said it was worth his time to be informed and to learn better farming practices to hopefully have a more profitable operation. “It’s a big world, and we somewhat feel responsible as farmers to not only feed our own families but feed the world,” Call said. “It isn’t just agriculture, but every industry is dealing on a global basis now, I think. It gives you more of a world perspective when you see where our soybeans go. You somewhat feel proud that we are able to feed more than just ourselves out here.” Call is a member of the Lac Qui Parle County Corn and Soybean Growers Association. He has been a member of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association for as long as he’s served on the Council. In this time, he has served as several board positions to help spread the message of how the soybean checkoff works for farmers at the local, state and national levels. He was also a member of the South Dakota Processors Board, and that taught him about the processing industry. After terming out, he continues to be a member. Call sat on the Ag Management Solutions board, which oversees daily operations of both MSR&PC and MSGA. He also served on

the Minnesota Corn Processors board. “I believe that when you’re on these boards, whether county, state or national, it gives you experience on how to work with people and how the government works, and when you’re involved you understand how the process works,” Call said. “I really think if you’re looking at being involved, especially legislatively, it gives you some experience if you want to move up you can.” With his retirement from MSR&PC, he will continue as a member of his county corn and soybean board, but he will also spend more time on the farm with his wife, Debra, and sons, Eric and Justin, who he hopes will continue the family operation in the future. “I think everybody wants someone within their family to continue,” Call said. “The opportunity to keep it going, it’s kind of a real challenge here always, but to be a young person to farm you almost have to have a relative or someone involved in farming because the financial part of it it’s so expensive.” Fortunately for the next generation, farming is in the Call family’s blood. MAY - JUNE - 2021 - Soybean Business

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Bushels by the billions

Study shows agriculture contributes more than $37 billion to Minnesota’s economy By Drew Lyon

The numbers don’t lie: Agriculture is a huge economic generator in Minnesota. And, after a difficult stretch in which farm income had dropped to levels not seen in a quarter-century, the state of agriculture in Minnesota is healthy entering the 2021 growing season. Farm income in 2020 reached levels not seen since 2012. “We’re hopeful; everybody is an optimistic mood. We’re doing a lot better than expected after the start of 2020,” said commodities expert Kent Thiesse, a senior vice president at MinnStar Bank. “We’re in very good shape right now on the crop production side of things.” In late 2020, AgriGrowth and more than two dozen leading Minnesota agricultural stakeholder groups, including the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, released the 2020 Economic Contribution Study of Minnesota Agriculture and Forestry. This comprehensive new report demonstrates the significant contribution agriculture has toward Minnesota’s economy, from adding $37.1 billion in value to the state’s economy to creating more than 388,000 jobs. About one in 10 Minnesota jobs are agriculture-related, and about 25 to 33% of Minnesota’s GDP is driven by agriculture, making it the state’s second largest industry. Minnesota continues to be ranked third nationally in soybean production. “Agriculture plays such a vital role in Minnesota’s economy,” MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka said. “While we 14 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

in the industry are aware of the importance, this study really hits home just how impactful agriculture is in providing jobs and economic benefits to the state.” The study was conducted by Decision Innovation Solutions to show the overall economic contribution of agriculture to Minnesota’s economy with further breakdowns by county and industry. “Agri-food and forestry are an integral part of Minnesota’s economy, and we’ve seen that demonstrated even more this year as our industry innovated, collaborated and overcame numerous challenges to ensure that Minnesotans get the food, fuel and fiber they need to keep our economy moving and families fed,” said Tamara Nelsen, executive director of AgriGrowth. “Altogether, this study paints a complete and detailed picture of what agriculture means to our state.”

Ag: Driving Minnesota's economy

Breakout box/infographics • $37.1 billion in total value added • 388,134 jobs • $105.6 billion in output (sales) • $21.4 billion in household income • Crop production and related industries contributed $8.7 billion in value added and 84,648 jobs

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said the study underscored the wide-ranging effects of Minnesota’s ag economy. “We were thrilled to be a part of and support the completion of this important study,” Petersen said. “And while it confirms what we knew, that agriculture is a critically important to the state’s economy, it also shows the tremendous diversity of Minnesota agriculture — something that bodes well for the longterm health of our industry and state.” Decision Innovation Solutions analysis also indicated that 99 percent of Minnesota farms are considered family farms and that metro counties Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota were the top three counties, respectively, with the greatest value-added contributions from agriculture, forestry and related industries. “Minnesota producers and value-added agribusiness have driven food and ag innovations forward for decades, and it’s great to see this current compilation of economic contributions that the industry provides,” said Shannon Schlecht, executive director of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. “Valueadded agriculture produces benefits in multiple manners, including new commodity utilization and sales, capital investment and jobs across the state.” The study includes data and breakdowns by county, industry and more. Farmers can read the full 2020 Economic Contribution Study of Minnesota Agriculture and Forestry at “There are great opportunities for a lot of folks right now,” Thiesse said.


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Soybean Delivery to crushing facility or point of export












Soy Oil Refining




Soy Biodiesel Production















Feed Milling

Selected Food Use *Revenues represent the value added to soy at each stage. This avoids double-counting the value of preceding stages.









The national soybean sector has a total impact on America’s FARMING FARMING & CRUSHING

economy of almost $116 billion — the equivalent of more than 0.65% of the U.S. GDP, and up to 9% of the GDP for certain states.

• To perform this analysis, LMC International estimated direct impacts and then applied multipliers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which prepares them for 369 detailed industries. • Jobs are presented on a full-time equivalent basis, so a seasonal worker is counted as part of a job. • The state numbers do not add up to the totals, because several small impacts are not displayed. Handout for Educational Purposes Only ©2020 United Soybean Board and National Oilseed Processors Association. [59819-3 4/20]

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WHEN PUSHING YIELDS, IT PAYS TO BE FLEXIBLE. Drive profitability and manage tough-to-control weeds with the combined performance of Asgrow ® brand soybeans and XtendFlex ® Technology – the industry’s first triple-stacked soybean trait containing tolerance to dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate. Ask your dealer how much further you can grow when Asgrow leads the way.

Bayer is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Bayer products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Bayer’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. Commercialized products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold, in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move materials containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is part of the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System, is a restricted use pesticide and must be used with VaporGrip® Xtra Agent (or an equivalent vapor-reducing agent). For approved tank-mix products (including VRAs and DRAs), nozzles and other important label information, visit

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is a restricted use pesticide. Not all products are registered in all states and may be subject to use restrictions. The distribution, sale or use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. Check with your local dealer or representative for the product registration status in your state. For additional product information, call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at www.BayerCropScience. us. Bayer Crop Science LP, 800 North Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63167. Products with XtendFlex® Technology contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Contact your seed brand dealer or refer to the Bayer Technology Use Guide for recommended weed control programs. Asgrow and the A Design®, Asgrow®, Bayer, Bayer Cross, Roundup Ready® and XtendFlex® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design® is a trademark of BASF Corporation. ©2021 Bayer Group. All Rights Reserved.

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SOY SNAPSHOTS Soybean Business' 2nd Annual Photo Contest Once again, to kick-off planting season, we asked our readers to grab their phones and cameras – aren’t they one and the same now? – and send us their best photos capturing life on a Minnesota farm. The votes were tallied via an online contest, and we are proud to share the best of the best.


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Norman County Growers make a SOYBEAN donation to a local SUNSET" food bank. "SPRING

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MSR&PC treads new ground with ‘Driving Soy’ campaign By Drew Lyon 24 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Minnesota soybeans – driven by farmer-led checkoff dollars – are hitting the road this summer, rolling out a win-win campaign that gives traction to the broad benefits and uses of soybean oil. Throughout the summer months, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and its nearly four-dozen organized counties are utilizing Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s line of soy-oil tires to highlight value-added products while also giving back to law enforcement agencies in their communities. “Our board is very excited to launch this promotion,” said Council Director Gene Stoel, who chairs the organization’s communications task force. “It’s a way for us say thanks and honor the first responders in our community for all they do and the sacrifices they make to keep us safe. Additionally, these tires show not just farmers, but anyone who drives a vehicle, that using homegrown, sustainable products doesn’t mean compromising on quality or performance.” The “Driving Soy” campaign puts the pedal to the metal on May 17 with a public relations promotion push throughout the state. The donation period to Continued on page 26

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Goodyear’s soy-based tires are available at, Discount Tires, Sam’s Club and other leading tire retailers. Rebates are often available with a purchase of a full set.

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local sheriff ’s departments runs June 1-July 13. Each of the state’s 44 organized soybean counties (Minnesota is the only state to support a county-level program) will have the chance to donate a full set of Goodyear’s Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires – designed specifically for first responder vehicles traversing rugged climates like Minnesota’s – to their county sheriff ’s department. “In Minnesota and states where there’s a lot of snowfall, the benefit of the Eagle Enforcer is (police cars) can run those year-long,” said Joe Scalfaro, Goodyear’s government sales manager. “They don’t have to switch it off when the temperature drops, which is going to save them (money) in the long run.” Using soybean oil in the tread compound creates a low glass transition temperature, helping to improve tire flexibility compared to petroleum oil. Soy oil also mixes easier with rubber, creating a more sustainable product. “By taking advantage of the soybean oil properties, we’re able to have a lot more flexibility in our manufacturing,” said Bob Woloszynek, a chemist and Goodyear’s chief engineer of global raw materials and technology. “This allows us to improve multiple attributes simultaneously.” In additional to the county promotion, the Council will give away two sets of Goodyear’s popular Assurance WeatherReady tires, also made with 100% soybean oil, at this year’s Farmfest (Aug. 3-5) and Big Iron (Sept 13-15). A third set of the WeatherReady tires, which are tailormade for everyday vehicles, will be available through an online promotion that will allow farmers to nominate their favorite nonprofits. With COVID-19 gathering restrictions forecasted to ease by summertime, the timing is right for the Council to make a big splash for its county program after a year marked by cancelled events. Promoting soybean oil via checkoff investments in renewable technology is the perfect vehicle to steer the Council’s mission to improve farmer profitability, said MSR&PC Chair Cole Trebesch. “There’s a high level of enthusiasm with our county boards for this campaign,” Trebesch said. “We all know summertime is fleeting in Minnesota, and after the hardships of the past year, our county boards are chomping at the bit to promote their commodities and checkoff investments.”

In recognition of its use of soybean oil, Goodyear was awarded the 2018 Tire Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year. The company sells about 40 million tires each year in the United States and Canada.

Finding their groove Goodyear’s relationship with the United Soybean Board (USB) dates back to 2011, when the company began looking at alternative, sustainable oils for its tires. Previously, the tire manufacturer used soybean oil in its racing tires. “We’re always looking for new materials and technology that can improve the tire performance,” Woloszynek said. “Considering its abundance in the U.S., soybean oil was the perfect place to start.” Both organizations saw the partnership as a long-term collaboration. Goodyear first learned from a customer about USB and its checkoff investments into valueadded uses for soybeans. “I didn’t know there were so many uses for soy,” Woloszynek said. “What I also didn’t realize was the significant amount of soybeans that are grown in the U.S. and the number of farmers. It’s amazing.” It took three years of research and development before commercialization was reached in 2014, and three more years before the debut of Assurance WeatherReady’s soybean-oil tread compound. To date, Goodyear has released four lines of tires with soybean oil compounds: Assurance WeatherReady (2017), Eagle Enforcer All Weather (2018), Eagle Exhilarate (2019) and Assurance Comfort Drive (2020). “The fact we were able to leverage soybean oil to get that sustainability aspect while improving the Continued on page 28

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performance of our products makes it a win-win,” Woloszynek said. “It’s an easy sell, and it’s something that we actually need and is providing the premium performance in our products.” Without the investment from America’s 515,000 soybean farmers, the project likely wouldn’t have come to fruition, Woloszynek said, citing the myriad budgetary and material challenges products face through the commercialization state. The soybean checkoff afforded technicians the necessary resources to develop and improve the tire products. “The checkoff dollars were a huge help. I firmly believe those checkoff dollars are a big reason Goodyer is where we are today,” he said. “Having that support from the United Soybean Board to supplement our work really kept it going, and we’re excited to continue working with them.” USB says the partnership proves that U.S. farmers set the pace when it comes to applying cutting-edge technologies and best management practices to generate economic and environmental sustainability. “We are pleased to partner with Goodyear for their award-winning innovation with U.S. soy in tires and are ready to meet their current and future needs for the sustainable procurement of soybeans,” USB Director Ed Lammers said. “U.S. soybean farmers offer a safe and reliable source of sustainably grown soybeans that provide versatility in the areas of food, feed and fuel and also deliver high-performance products for industrial use partners, such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.” Goodyear isn’t resting on its laurels. The Akron, Ohio-based company has increased its use of soybeans by 73% since 2018 and has pledged to fully replace all of its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040. The Enforcer tires will appeal to more than just law enforcement but also state fleets and municipalities, increasing demand. “We have a bold, long-range goal … and that ensures we’re going to continue using products that contain soybean oil,” Woloszynek said. “There’s a lot of potential here.” Said Stoel: “After 2020, we’re all looking forward to this summer, and reconnecting with folks in our communities. This campaign is going to help our first responders and also show how the soybean checkoff continues to work for Minnesota farmers. It’s a winning message that we’re proud to support.” From the seed bed to the tire thread, the soybean checkoff is helping the rubber meet the row. See you on the open road, Minnesota.

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OH, HENRY! In 1941, auto legend Henry Ford, in search of an alternative to steel, unveiled “The Soybean Car,” a 2,000-pound car (1,000 pounds lighter than a traditional steel car) made partially with soybean fiber. The car was eventually destroyed, and the plastic car movement was abandoned during World War II, when auto production was temporarily suspended.

HAVE A SEAT Since 2011, under the direction of Henry Ford’s grandson, Bill Ford, every Ford vehicle built in North America has used soy foam in all seat cushions, head and backrests. The checkoff investment has saved hundreds of million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

ROLL ON During Hill Visits with state legislators, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association touted the benefits of soybean oil in tire compounds and road sealants.

DID YOU KNOW? About 8% of a typical tire is comprised of oil.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE In 2015, Goodyear created 29 prototypes of the Assurance Weather Ready tire in two development sizes and tested it against non-soy based options. The soy tires prevailed. “It separated itself as the favorite pretty early on,” Woloszynek said. To learn more about valueadded success stories, visit

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CONGRESS PASSES GRAIN STANDARDS REAUTHORIZATION ACT In late 2020, Congress passed the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act. The bill enabled continuation of testing and grading to official marketing standards for grains and oilseeds. Official grain standards define each grain, classes of the grain and numerical grades. The standards facilitate the marketing of grain by serving in contract language, enabling buyers and sellers to more easily determine quality, and therefore value, of these commodities, according to the Senate Ag Committee. “The really important part is we need mechanisms that allow efficient trade through the systems,” University of Minnesota Agronomist Seth Naeve said. “And those minimum standards are met, so when a seller is selling and a buyer is buying, they both have assurance of what the other person has or wants.” Minnesota's low foreign material Naeve recently conducted extensive research for the United Soybean Board, producing results on the quality of the U.S. 2020 soybean crop. Components of his research included testing for protein and oil, physical characteristics, amino acids and sucrose. For Minnesota soybean farmers, Naeve’s research and the passing of this act are a huge win as Minnesota continuously produces high-quality soybeans with low levels of foreign material (FM) found in them. “China enforces that if soybeans come from America to China, they have to have 1 percent or less FM,” said Kim Nill, market development director for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC). “Right now, the Grain Standards Reauthorization Act allows 2 percent FM in U.S. No. 2 soybeans. Therefore, Minnesota farmers and sellers need to tout we have clean beans.” Despite a nearly two-year long trade war, China remains

the No. 1 buyer of United States soybeans. Having beans with low FM to abide by Chinese regulations is important, Nill said. For Minnesota farmers, having low FM is vital to their profitability. “The reality is that China takes a vast majority of soybeans from the U.S., and during certain times about 90 percent of the beans that leave the Pacific Northwest ports,” Nill said. THE LOWDOWN NSM’s videos provide an overview of the FM issue as well as basic information for farmers to manage herbicide-resistant weeds and to keep weed seed out of their soybeans. The videos can be viewed at www.soyquality. com/farmer-resources.

Maintaining an edge To continue efforts of maintaining and improving Minnesota’s low FM, Naeve worked on a Northern Soy Marketing-funded project to create eight videos to assist Minnesota soybean producers in continuous improvement in their FM-reduction efforts. The video series provides an overview of important issues and provides the basic information needed by farmers to manage herbicide-resistant weeds and to keep weed seed out of their soybeans. “Our farmers work hard and smart to keep FM down, and this can be even further improved as a result of Seth Naeve’s FM videos,” Nill said. “We need to keep our competitive edge to be able to market our beans to China to be shipped out of the Pacific Northwest ports.” MAY - JUNE - 2021 - Soybean Business

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It takes two. Morgan farmers named ASA Young Leaders By Bailey Grubish

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Redwood County farmers Kelli Sorenson and her husband, Jeffrey, are the newest members of the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) Corteva Agriscience Young Leader program, training to be a voice of U.S. agriculture. The Sorensons were elected to represent Minnesota in the 38th class of ASA’s longest running leadership program founded in 1984. The Sorensons are enhancing their agriculture leadership, communication and issues-based training and are also building a peer network across the nation through the program. The prestigious program has also graduated leaders from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, including current President Jamie Beyer. Kelli applied for the program after learning about it at the Commodity Classic Trade Show and Conference and was selected as the representative. Jeffrey was also appointed to the Young Leaders Program as a joint position for couples. “As a young producer a lot of the decisions are made (Continued on page 34

Jeff and Kelli Sorenson raise three children while farming in Redwood County and holding off-farm jobs.

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jointly (between couples), and I think that’s why it’s a joint partnership,” Kelli said. “It’s a partnership on the farm and a partnership in the program. It’s good for both of us to learn this information to grow and develop.” They are going through the program together, which enables them to discuss the content they’ve learned and how to implement the skills and information in a realworld setting. “Couples working together is one of the big strengths of the program, and I think this is one of the programs that we have done together,” Jeffrey said. “I think that is a strength of both of us learning together.” Each person or couple serves in this role for one year, but due to COVID-19 the Sorensons will participate for just over a year. So far, the young leaders met virtually once for a meet and greet and a chance to hear from Soybean leaders. Typically, the young leader representatives attend numerous meetings throughout their term, but this year will go longer to allow the young leaders the best experience and education. “It’s kind of been pushed back (and) definitely had to take a new twist because of COVID-19 and the virtual things,” Kelli said. The young leaders will meet a few more times before the end of their term, slightly overlapping the next class

of 2022. The young leaders plan to meet during July in Washington, D.C., and again in November in Johnston, Iowa. An additional part of the program for a select few is four to five months for more in-depth training and more policy and legislation education. One thing that Jeffrey is excited to take away from the program is how other young leaders balance their busy lives and farming. Finding their voice The Sorensons are raising three children, and farm on Jeffrey’s fourth-generation operation where they grow corn and soybeans. On top of farming, Kelli is an agriculture banker, and Jeffrey is a Legend Seeds agronomist. Kelli also teaches Sunday school, serves on the Morgan library board and is a member of the Redwood County Corn and Soybean Growers Board. Jeffrey is board chair and a director with MSGA. “The other young leaders, I think just about all of them, had something else going on besides farming full-time, and I’m excited to see how everyone else is balancing it and what is working well for them,” Jeffrey said. Along with learning leadership skills and networking with young leaders across the nation, Kelli and Jeffrey

Kelli (far right corner) and Jeff (second row, left) Sorenson talk ag priorities with Rep. Pete Stauber during ASA's Hill Visits.

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are members of MSGA and joined fellow farmer-directors for MSGA’s virtual Hill Visits. There were more than 40 meetings throughout, affording the Sorensons a chance to advocate with Minnesota’s federal and state legislators. “I had not done any kind of Hill Visits before, and this was a new thing for me,” Kelli said. “It definitely stretched me out of my comfort zone to meet with representatives, but it was also good to become more familiar with Minnesota Soybean policies, ASA policies and things that we want to try to educate the representative on that affect soybean growers here and across the country. That was kind of a fun thing for me to learn more about.” In those meetings they met with state and federal Representatives and Senators to discuss policies. “For me it was kind of interesting, especially on the federal side because there are definitely legislators that are completely in camp with us and everything agriculture is doing, and then there are obviously other ones that aren’t necessarily opposed to us, but don’t know near as much about it,” Jeffrey said. “I thought that those were some of

the more fun ones because we could educate them. We maybe weren’t changing their policy, but at least we were educating them on what agriculture is what we’re doing. It was more challenging because they weren’t necessarily on our side, but I felt like we accomplished more, if you will, with those nonagriculture representatives.” The couple spoke to legislative representatives about being young farmers and how the specific policies affect them differently than a moreexperienced grower, along with their perspective as young farmers.A topic Kelli also discussed is the urgent need for more rural mental health awareness. “One thing that I took that was kind of neat … (is) we are the voice of Minnesota Soybean Growers, not of Sorenson farms,” Jeffrey said. “So even though I have personal biases it was really neat to see all of us that were in the conversation – we had one unified voice.”

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MINNESOTA FARMER SPREADS THE NEWS WITH HIS CONSERVATION PRACTICES After enrolling in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality

District to apply for MAWQCP certification and then complete

Certification Program (MAWQCP), dozens of Bill Zurn’s

a series of steps with local certifiers using a 100 percent site-

distant relatives came out of the woodwork to congratulate the

specific risk-assessment process. By law, all data is kept private

longtime Minnesota farmer after his conservation practices

and only by signing a formal release can a farmer’s name be

were profiled in the local paper.

released publicly. After becoming certified, farmers like the

“We’ve seen very positive feedback from our landlords and

Zurns receive a 10-year contract ensuring they will be deemed

family members,” Zurn says. “Some of my long-lost cousins

in compliance with any new water quality laws, an official

have come back and congratulated us. They were tickled pink,

MAWQCP sign to display on their farm and other benefits

and we really didn’t’ expect that.”

developed by local MAWQCP providers.

Zurn was an original board member during the MAWQCP’s

“We applaud Bill for his dedication to conservation and for

inception, and he officially enrolled in summer 2020. He said

continuing to promote best management practices in Minnesota,”

he’s glad the program recognizes the diverse farming practices

says Brad Redlin, MAWQCP project manager. “Bill has been

of Minnesota and factors in how weather and growing patterns

a champion of this program since the beginning, and we are

differ throughout the state.

thankful for his full-throated endorsement.”

“From Rochester to Roseau, there’s a big difference here, and

More than 1,000 producers are currently certified in the

it’s important we understand that,” he says. “It varies so much

MAWQCP, covering more than 725,000 certified acres, and

across our state, and it’s important to stress that.”

implementing more than 2,075 new conservation practices.

Zurn farms in Becker and Mahnomen counties with his wife,

Gov. Tim Walz has set a goal of enrolling 1 million acres in the

Karolyn, and their sons, Eric and Nick. Together, the Zurns

MAWQCP by 2022.

grow corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat. Though they had

“We appreciate what they’re doing with this program,” Zurn

already been practicing cover crops, pest management and

says. “Farming has changed. We’re not perfect, but we’ve

conservation tillage, Zurn credits his local National Resource

always tried to do the best we can – with technology and

Conservation Service with helping improve his family’s

precision ag – and meet the standards.”

production practices to become certified.

Zurn says he’s eager to spread the word about the benefits of

“They were excellent to us and showed us what we needed to

the MAWQCP to not just family and friends, but the agriculture

do what we could change,” says Zurn, who’s also a director

community – and beyond.

with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

“For the time and effort, it’s very worthwhile,” he says. “We’re

“They are great to work with. We as farmers have gotten a lot

proving to the United States that we’re doing good sustainable

more out of this than we put in.”

and renewable practices here in Minnesota.”

Farmers can contact their local Soil & Water Conservation

Brought to you by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture 36 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

IT’S NOT JUST YOUR LAND. IT’S YOUR LEGACY. The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program rewards farmers like you for what you do best, taking care of your land and its natural resources. To get started and learn more, contact your local soil and water conservation district or go to:

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MSR&PC’S 2020 ANNUAL REPORT 38 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

MISSION STATEMENT “The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is the elected board of soybean producers from Minnesota who direct investments of the state’s checkoff dollars in programs designed to increase profitability to Minnesota soybean farmers.”

Annual Report of Program Area Expenditures Fiscal year September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2020 Certified through an independent audit by the accounting firm of Schlenner Wenner & Co. 151 St. Andrews Court | Suite 710, Mankato, MN 56001

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THIS YEAR’S WINNERS Page 41: Introducing Council Directors Page 42: Financials Page 44: Letter From the Chair Page 46: Research Page 48: White Mold Page 50: Fullfat Soybean Meal Handbook Page 52: Plasma Blue Page 54: Expanding Exports Page 56: RePlay Page 58: The Northern Commodity Transportation Conference Page 60: Communications Page 62: The Soy Checkoff Page 64: The Ag Innovation Campus

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Kris Folland District 1, 2 & 3

Bill Zurn District 1, 2 & 3

Jim Call District 4

Tom Frisch District 4

Patrick O’Leary District 4

Pat Sullivan Secretary, District 5 & 6

Joe Serbus Vice Chair, District 5 & 6

Ron Obermoller District 7

Gene Stoel District 7

Jim Willers District 7

1 Gail Donkers District 8



Rochelle Krusemark District 8


4 5 Cole Trebesch Chair, District 8

Glen Groth District 9


Ben Storm Treasurer, District 9



Lawrence Sukalski (USB Director)

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Each year, the Council undergoes independent financial and compliance audits with this prominent Minnesota accounting firm to ensure checkoff resources are being managed in a transparent and appropriate manner.

What is Schlenner Wenner & Co.?

Dover farmer Ben Storm serves as MSR&PC treasurer. 42 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021


2020 For the Year Ended August 31, 2020 2019 REVENUES AND SUPPORT Assessment Revenue Collected Less: Assessment Revenue Remitted Net Assessment Revenue


16,609,065 $ (9,716,677) 6,892,388

16,499,405 (9,696,743) 6,802,662

Royalty Rental Late Fees Grants Interest Income Gain on Investments Other Revenue Net Revenues

30,259 9,000 8,798 273,000 42,241 77,700 66,840 7,400,226

15,253 9,000 5,627 41,526 42,764 96,159 7,012,991

EXPENSES Program Services Management and General Total Expenses

5,398,256 1,182,960 6,581,216

8,615,343 1,006,229 9,621,572







NET ASSETS - Beginning of Year

See accompanying notes.




NET ASSETS - End of Year




4,937,220 $



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LEADING THE CHARGE This cutting-edge checkoff organization thinks big and always pushes forward to ensure Minnesota farmers are the stars of the show. In Fiscal Year 2020, some might “soy” this group continued growing.

What is the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council? Springfield farmer Cole Trebesch was reelected Council chair in 2020. 44 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

DOUBLING DOWN ON SOYBEANS To be clear, 2020 didn’t unfold like a game show – and neither does farming. Some of our questions were left unanswered this past year, and not everyone came home with a prize. The stakes were higher this time around, as many of us stayed close to home and protected our families, friends and neighbors during a once-in-a-century pandemic. Still, Minnesota’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers had our jobs to do, operations to run, food to put on kitchen tables, crops and livestock to raise and sell. I’ll take “Grit” for $1,000, Alex! Fiscal year 2020 was unlike any other in the history of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. At times, it felt like we had entered a new era. But we always kept our eyes on the ultimate reward: improving the profitability for our state’s soybean producers through the wise investment of checkoff resources. In fall 2019, months before the world changed, the Council once again appeared on a national TV program when our innovative checkoff projects were highlighted as part of the “Advancements” series. Our appearance later garnered the Council a prestigious Telly Award. 2020 started on a promising note for our nation’s ag trade relations, as we finally saw the U.S. and China sign the Phase One trade deal. An agreement on the UnitedStates-Canada-Mexico trade deal (USMCA) also came to fruition later in January. Soon thereafter, Council leaders were the talk of the town when we unveiled our revolutionary Plasma Blue Technology at the National Biodiesel Conference. Another flourishing Council project, the Ag Innovation Campus, broke ground in fall 2020. Farmer-leaders joined ag officials and Gov. Walz in Crookston

as we spread the word about our endeavors to revitalize our ag economy, increase demand, promote value-added products and serve as a resource for educating the next generation of agriculture professionals. During the past year, we also said goodbye to our dear friend Rob Hanks and welcomed Winona County farmer Glen Groth to our team. On the market development side, COVID-19 effectively halted in-person trade missions, denying farmers the chance to host trade teams throughout the growing season. Undeterred, the Council pressed on virtually, taking the lead among QSSBs by testifying, submitting comments and meeting with trade officials in our longstanding efforts to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade. Our research team continued investing checkoff funds in more than a dozen projects related to pest and weed management, soil health and breeding and genetics. The Council’s communications team continued spotlighting farmer-led programs, earning national agrimarketing awards for our FY19 Annual Report and a farmer-focused social media campaign that had everyone chatting about the checkoff. We hope you enjoy our look back at the last year at Minnesota Soybean. It was a wild, albeit bumpy, ride, and we appreciate the farmers and industry leaders who supported us along the way. We didn’t have all the answers – and had plenty of questions ourselves – but, rest assured, our core mission was never in … jeopardy. Cole Trebesch Chair, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

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The Council continues investing in research in ongoing efforts to combat this pest that thrives in soil and removes food from soybeans, making this parasitic roundworm the crop’s top yield-robber.

What is Soybean Cyst Nematode?

Renville County farmer Pat Sullivan works in tandem with Council leaders to review and approve research proposals. 46 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Research Revelation Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) is a consistent threat to growers across Minnesota; yield losses can range from 15 to 30%. Nationwide, SCN costs growers an estimated $1.5 billion each year. In FY20, the Council invested checkoff resources into multi-year research aimed at addressing SCN’s grip on yields and enhancing the development of SCN-resistant soybean varieties through unbiased sources of information on the resistance of commercial soybean varieties. Researcher Aaron Lorenz, recipient of the Council’s 2020 Industry Leader of the Year award, worked toward three core objectives: 1) Enhancing the efficiency and efficacy of breeding for SCN resistance 2) Advancing new sources of SCN resistance and expanding the use of new sources for crossing in breeding program 3) Conduct SCB bioassays on commercial varieties

THE ROUNDUP • In total, the Council sponsored 14 projects in FY20 in agronomic research into pest and weed management, soil health, and breeding and genetics. • To support the next generation of ag professionals, the Council sponsored a Southwest Minnesota State University program that provided workshops and materials to help students pass the Certified Crop Advisor exam. SMSU plans to conduct refresher workshops for the students and continue incorporating CCA exam content in future curriculum. • A decade ago, the Council invested checkoff funds in a unique research project focused on investigating how drainage affects soybean yields. Researchers studied how management should differ between well-drained and poorly drained soils. In summer 2020, Council directors joined University of Minnesota Agronomist Seth Naeve in a tour of the 14-acre research site in southern Minnesota.

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Soybean farmers sponsored a University of Minnesota research project targeting this soil-borne pathogen that is especially problematic in southeast Minnesota and thrives in cool, wet weather.

What is white mold?

Becker County farmer Bill Zurn sits on the Council’s research action team. 48 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Taking Action

According to the latest research, white mold can adversely affect Minnesota soybean yields by more than 3%, costing growers $100 million in damages annually. In a poll conducted by the Council, 15% of Minnesota farmers reported that white mold was the most bothersome pathogen on their farms in 2020. White mold is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The pathogen has a wide host range: Soybeans, dry edible beans, sunflowers and canola are all among the crops vulnerable to white mold. In soybeans, spores land on and colonize senescing soybean flowers that remain attached to the plant at leaf axils. The fungus uses this food source as a pathway to infect the stem. The Council approved a research project from University of Minnesota Extension Educator Angie Peltier to look at new ways of applying fungicides to manage white mold in soybeans and improve fungicide coverage, efficacy and crop yield. Before applying fungicide treatments at the research sites in Crookston and Staples, Peltier and her team placed water-sensitive paper at 6 and 12 inches above the soil line in the soybean row. Using a scanner and computer program, university researchers were able to analyze the spray pattern to measure fungicide coverage. Data that was collected from these plots included: fungicide coverage and deposition, white mold incidence and severity and harvest moisture and yield. Despite the researchers’ best efforts to initiate disease in these experiments, warm temperatures prevailed after treatment, resulting in no disease. As a result, there were no differences observed among treatments for soybean yield (66.7 bu/A average, P = 0.2869) and moisture (12.0% average, P = 0.2307) at the Staples site and yield (29.8 bu/A average, P = 0.9644) and moisture (8.8% average, P = 0.1882) at the Crookston site. To view the latest updates on Council-funded research projects, visit

Photo credit: Daren Mueller, Iowa State University,

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The Council helped fund this comprehensive online and printed guide that was purchased by 640 overseas participants, increasing the chances of future purchases of U.S.-grown soybeans.

What is the Fullfat Soybean Meal Handbook and shortcourse? Kittson County farmer Kris Folland represents MSR&PC on the Northern Crops Council. 50 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Source Materials The Council joined forces with the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) to create a fourpart online Fullfat Soybean Meal shortcourse to accompany the Fullfat Soybean Meal Handbook, which NCI published during FY20. The handbook was first printed in 1989 and was updated in 1996. The Council, NCI and the North Dakota Soybean Council concluded the information, while still useful, had become outdated after nearly 25 years. Compiling the updated handbook took place over the course of multiple fiscal years before it was published in 2020. The 80-page handbook was shared with leading commodity groups and informs readers about the processing and feeding of fullfat soybean meal to the major livestock groups. The handbook focuses on how farmers and feed millers around the globe can feed livestock fullfat soy in a cost-effective, beneficial manner. Those who purchased the handbook also received free admission to four webinars, which aired in 2020, covering the feeding of fullfat soybean meal to swine, poultry, ruminants and aquaculture. Chapters from the Fullfat Soybean Meal Handbook include: • Why Whole Soybeans Require Heat Treatment Prior to Use in Animal Feed • Common Methods Used in the Heat Treatment of Soybeans • Measuring Nutritional Quality of Fullfat Soybeans • Fullfat Soybean Storage and “Keeping” Conditions • Nutritional Characteristics of Fullfat Soybeans • Economic and Practical Considerations • Fullfat Soybeans for Poultry Copies of the handbook are available for purchase at

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Funded with checkoff resources, a fuel revolution is upon us with this patentprotected technology that aims to spark the biodiesel industry with a muchneeded energy boost.

What is Plasma Blue?

Beaver Creek farmer Jim Willers has been a leader in promoting biodiesel for Jim Willers District 7 more than 20 years. 52 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

The Future Is Here Plasma Blue is a unique reactor technology for use in the transesterification process within a biodiesel plant. By using readily available standard electricity, this technology provides operational cost savings while more fully converting oils and reagents used in the biodiesel production process. The technology, fueled by checkoff dollars and University research, aims to reduce the price of biodiesel production costs, creating a marketplace where small biodesel plants can remain viable. Plasma Blue will allow the biofuels industry to better utilize renewable sources of energy – such as wind and solar – in the conversion of sustainably grown feedstocks to oil. The technology contains a small footprint, is easy to integrate into existing control systems and processes, and requires minimal downtime to install – all resulting in a plant’s capabilities to expand without a large capital investment. TRUE BLUE ●• Plasma technology can be conducted at room temperature, which decreases the use of natural gas and allows for potentially cleaner electricity to be used. • Plasma Blue’s technology may be able to reduce a plant’s carbon index score in the range of 0.12 to 0.55 g CO2e/MJ, potentially equating to 1 to 1.5 cents per-gallon savings. • In 2020, the Council made a big splash in the renewable fuels industry when farmerleaders unveiled Plasma Blue at the National Biodiesel Conference. • In January 2020, Plasma Blue launched • Plasma Blue earned a $150,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. • Plasma Blue will have a presence at the Ag Innovation Campus in Crookston.

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Council directors continued their longrange work on “sweat equity” projects to fight these overseas obstacles that threaten the growth of Minnesota’s soybean exports.

What are World Trade Organization-contravening non-tariff barriers? Patrick O’Leary toured Southeast Asia on a trade mission in January 2020, just before COVID-19 traveling restrictions went into effect. 54 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Breaking a Sweat

The Council has long invested in China market development projects via partnerships with commodity groups. And it’s paid off: In 2020, following a breakthrough trade agreement, China resumed near-record purchases of U.S. soy, totaling more than 25 million tons. Council leaders and staff worked in unison with national ag leaders during an in-person meeting in Washington, D.C., to draft and submit a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for its annual hearing on China trade barriers. Under the direction of its board, the Council was involved in penning formal written comments against China’s continuing requirement for <1% Foreign Material (FM) in U.S. soybean shipments. This served to put China’s government on notice with an aim toward limiting China’s likelihood to enforce the WTO-contravening trade restriction. Since northern-states-origin soybeans contain the lowest FM amounts of any region in the U.S., Northern Soy Marketing (NSM), supported by the soybean checkoff, helped created a series of online videos that serve to highlight tri-state soybean growers’ efforts to continuously improve their weed control, lowering FM content in Minnesota soybean exports. Those online videos – plus data from other projects proving that Pacific Northwest (PNW) soybean exports contain the lowest FM of all U.S. soybean exports – are being publicized via targeted marketing efforts to China soybean buyers. Roughly 25% of all U.S. soybean exports are shipped via the PNW. Despite being hamstrung during a pandemic, the Council still managed to take the lead among farm groups by putting considerable “sweat equity” into: • Submitting written comments to the USTR against Vietnam’s WTO-contravening zero tolerance for Canada Thistle seeds in U.S. soybean shipments • Writing comments to USTR against China’s WTO-contravening requirement for <1% FM in U.S. soybean shipments, and its zero tolerance for mix-in of GMOs to food-destined soybeans • Authoring a letter to USTR against the United Kingdom’s WTO-contravening zero tolerance for biotech genetic events in U.S. soybean shipments • Joining forces with its brethren in North Dakota and South Dakota to submit written comments to USTR against Thailand’s impending zero MRL for chlorpyrifos and paraquat on soybeans

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ON THE ROAD This soy-based treatment, driven by checkoff dollars, creates high speed water runoff and does not allow moisture into the surface, extending the life of roads and saving cities an average of 30 percent on road budget costs.

What is RePlay Agricultural Oil and Preservation Agent? Council Director Ron Obermoller is chairman of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI). 56 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

The RePlay Roadshow

Minnesota continues to endure miles of transportation and infrastructure roadblocks. Biobased road treatment technologies present a unique opportunity to reduce overall maintenance costs of bituminous roadways (asphalt) by extending surface life and delaying costly repairs. This ongoing partnership with AURI entered its fifth year during 2020, with the Council funding a study by SRF Consulting Group on RePlay Pavement Preservation and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis. Using the City of Hutchinson as a case study, the results of the economic analysis demonstrated the use of RePlay Agricultural Oil and Preservation Agent® leads to a reduction in the life cycle cost of maintaining asphalt concrete surfaces. The study found that roads treated with RePlay showed a four times lower rate of degradation compared to roads in the normal maintenance program. When the treated roads were compared to a standard rate for Minnesota, the treatment was shown to extend service life by up to six years and provide savings even in the most stringent economic model scenarios. To date, more than 400 applications of RePlay have been applied across Minnesota on city streets, parking lots, trails and county roads, totaling approximately 150,000 lane miles. These studies provide Minnesota transportation officials with an added level of confidence in predicting the financial results of this soy-based pavement treatment method. GAINING TRACTION • 400 bushels of soybeans are needed to produce 100 gallons of RePlay Agricultural Oil and Preservation Agent®. • 200 bushels of soybeans are needed to seal one, two-lane mile of road with soy-based road treatment. • RePlay is 88-percent biobased. • RePlay is reapplied every 4-6 years. • Soy-based road treatments have a negative road carbon footprint and are used in more than 30 countries. • RePlay can have as little as 30 minutes of downtime after application.

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RIDING THE RAILS Commodity groups from across the Upper Midwest hit the road to attend this new conference, organized by the Council, that addressed solutions to improving the complex system of transportation and infrastructure issues affecting agriculture.

What is the Northern Commodity Transportation Conference? MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka was an NCTC panelist. 58 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Covering All the Routes Co-sponsored by the Council, the Northern Commodity Transportation Conference debuted in March 2020, and was one of the state’s final in-person seminars before COVID-19 gathering restrictions went into effect. This unique, two-day conference, held in Minneapolis, gathered the tri-state commodity transportation industry to share and learn about trade barriers, struggles, similarities and opportunities along the transportation route as commodities leave combines in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota and head for international waters. • Northern Soy Marketing, a Council-funded organization that represents growers from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and focuses on essential amino acids (EAA), was a top NCTC sponsor. • More than 60 organizations and elected officials were represented at the two-day conference. Key attendees included John Baize, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance Executive Director Eric Wenberg and then-American Soybean Association President Bill Gordon, among many agriculture luminaires. • The Council published a follow-up booklet, “The NCTC Run-Down,” highlighting the key takeaways and highlights from the conference. • The NCTC is tentatively scheduled to resume in late 2021 or 2022, once in-person gatherings can be held safely.

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SOY SOCIAL In 2020, the Council earned a National Agri-marketing Association award for this hashtag promoting a social media campaign featuring Minnesota farmers while they endured the highs and lows of planting season.

What is #FollowAMNFarmer?

Lake Wilson farmer Gene Stoel chairs the Council’s communications task force. 60 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Media Matters

The #FollowAMNFarmer campaign followed a pair of Minnesota farm families through planting season, touching on a host of topics ranging from production practices to farmer mental health. Conceived and executed entirely in-house, the campaign garnered nearly 10,000 views across the Council’s various social media platforms. The Council’s 2019 comicbook themed Annual Report also received a NAMA regional award for the third straight year. MSR&PC continued its promotional efforts despite working remotely with limited resources. In summer 2020, the Council was recognized for its appearance on the nationally syndicated “Advancement” series. Farmer-leaders and CEO Tom Slunecka were profiled, along with checkoff projects. The feature notched Council a prestigious Telly Award under the Public Interest/Awareness category. The primetime segment highlighted the Council’s three core objectives: opening and developing new markets, increasing the uses for soybeans and funding research to improve farmers’ bottom lines. • The Council activated a social media campaign, Every Picture Tells a Story, to launch a readerphoto submission contest. The winning photos appeared in a feature spread in Soybean Business magazine. • Working remotely for a large chunk of the year, the Council ratcheted up its digital communications, relying on its weekly e-newsletter to deliver timely, relevant information to Minnesota farmers. • Minnesota is the only state in the country to support more than 40 grassroots soybean organizations. When COVID-19 shut down most in-person events, the organized counties adapted by making donations to local food banks and first responders, while still promoting their homegrown commodities. The Nicollet/Sibley County Corn and Soybean Board led the charge, donating more than $1,000 in food products containing soybeans to local food shelves.

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THE BOTTOM LINE Established in 1991 following years of hard work from farmer-leaders, this federally mandated program invests one half of one percent of the market price of soybeans into research, promotion and increasing market access.

What is the soybean checkoff?

Rochelle Krusemark farms in Martin County, and serves on the United Soybean Board alongside Gene Stoel, Jim Willers, Bill Zurn and Lawrence Sukalski. 62 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Checkoff Champions

The soybean checkoff is federally mandated by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. Every time a Minnesota soybean farmer sells soybeans, one half of 1% of the market price is checked off. Half of the checkoff is utilized by Minnesota, while the other half is utilized by the United Soybean Board. MSR&PC remains committed to increasing farmer profitability through the wise investment of checkoff dollars. TOP VALUE • According to the USDA’s latest findings, Minnesota’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers produced more than 279 million bushels in 2019. • Soybeans are Minnesota’s top export commodity, accounting for 30% of the state’s total agricultural exports. • Minnesota is the nation’s top producer of food-grade soybeans. • Livestock is the No. 1 customer of soybeans, with 98% of soybean meal used for feed. • Minnesota produces two times as many bushels of soybeans as it consumes. • 94% of farmers surveyed reported receiving their soybean checkoff news from Council publications. • According to a 2020 checkoff study, the soybean industry’s total economic impact on the U.S. economy averaged $115.8 billion. • The soybean sector supported an average of 357,000 people, comprising 280,000 paid, full-time equivalent jobs as well as an additional 78,000 family members. • The total wage impact of the sector averaged $11.6 billion.

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RURAL REVIVAL This one-of-a-kind crush facility received a $5 million endorsement from the state of Minnesota, allowing farmers to maximize the value of their crops, increase jobs and take advantage of value-added ag products.

What is the Ag Innovation Campus?

Council Director Tom Frisch is treasurer of the Ag Innovation Campus. 64 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

Adding Value

Following decades of checkoff investments and development, the Ag Innovation Campus in Crookston combines the best of agriculture by creating new opportunities for farmers and industry alike. A year after receiving funding from the Minnesota Legislature, the AIC advanced through the complex permitting process in 2020, culminating with a groundbreaking ceremony in the fall. This specialty facility will be unlike any other facility in the nation, and will serve as a hub for the next generation of value-added processing, putting money back into rural communities. The AIC will provide an opportunity for new and novel agricultural products to be tested, developed and readied for market. The facility is also an educational endeavor, creating a training site for future biodiesel, soybean and other crop processing workforces. The AIC is working toward a spring 2022 production date. AIC BY THE NUMBERS • 368 million: Estimated pounds of soybean meal consumed by livestock in the region surrounding Crookston. • 62,400: Tons per year of soybean meal the AIC could crush, serving about 30% of the regional market. • 50 million+: Bushels of soybeans harvested in the 11 counties in Northern Minnesota in 2020. • 324: Estimated number of AIC production days annually. • 60: The number of potential jobs a fully operating AIC could support. • 3: The number of crushing lines the AIC can support. Each line can be operated all on either organic, non-GM or GM soybeans as well as separately for each type of soybean. Each line can also be cleaned to avoid cross contamination with other soybean lines.

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CRISIS INTERVENTION When the massive container ship, the Ever Given, got stuck in the Suez Canal, disrupting shipping in that region for nearly a week in late March, it made worldwide headlines. But for U.S. exporters of specialty soya and grains, they have been in the midst of a container shipping crisis that has wreaked havoc for many months, one that is only just beginning to garner national and international attention. Weeks before the Ever Given got sideways, the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) issued a transportation advisory to its members, who ship Identity Preserved field crops as food ingredients via container, and others about the issues they’ve been facing at the U.S. ports for more than a year and the extreme difficulties that have especially plagued them over the last six months. SSGA also signed on to a letter to President Biden and others in the administration, urging an immediate intervention. A year ago, fears of a global economic recession caused ocean carriers to cancel more than 145 scheduled sailings from Asia to the United States, causing a great disruption of supply chain schedules and a shortage of containers available to U.S. exporters. By fall, however, there was a massive turnaround in 66 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

trade, thanks to the extraordinary growth in ecommerce and a desire by people staying in their homes for more and more consumer products manufactured overseas. That didn’t help the container shortage, however, as demand increased in Asia for available containers to be filled with those goods. By late October, SSGA members were shocked to learn that some ocean container carriers had started refusing ag exports, driving import rates to North America so high that they could simply send empty containers back to Asia straightaway, rather than, inland for U.S. agricultural products, to save time and have more boxes available for those higher-revenue consumer goods. According to a CNBC investigation, at least $1.3 billion in potential ag exports were rejected at major U.S. ports between July and December. “The United States’ fastest-growing export is empty containers,” SSGA Executive Director Eric Wenberg said, noting that there has been a 71% increase in empty containers shipped back overseas. As a result, key West Coast U.S. ports have become overly congested with the inflow of import cargo, resulting in a bottleneck of sometimes dozens of

U.S. exporters urging federal action to solve shipping stalemate By Soybean Business Staff container ships waiting anchored outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. And the U.S. inland rail system for containers also has slowed down, causing major disruptions for U.S. soy and specialty grains exporters, as well as many other North American export sectors. Call to action SSGA and other agriculture trade organizations have called on the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the regulatory body for ocean shipping, to step in, and FMC commissioners are investigating reports of unreasonable practices by ocean carriers that may be in violation of the 1984 Shipping Act and result in severe penalties. Congress has begun raising concerns. Twenty-four U.S. Senators, led by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) sent a letter to the FMC, expressing bipartisan support for its investigation, and similar letters were sent by a group of 111 members of the House of Representatives and senior Democrats and Republicans on the House Transportation committee. Those actions came on the heels of the letter SSGA and 70 other agriculture associations signed and sent to President Biden, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Council of Economic Advisors

Chair Cecilia Rouse and FMC Commissioner Michael Khouri about the situation. “The only way to get out of this is for ocean carriers to return to previous levels of taking containerized exports out of the U.S., instead of such a high percentage of empty containers,” said Darwin Rader, SSGA’s secretary/treasurer and competitive shipping action team chair. “There’s a lot of frustration among U.S. exporters. We have to keep pushing as hard as we can for carriers to treat U.S. exporters fairly to help restore the balance of trade.” U.S. ag exporters are working harder than ever to find all options to get their products to overseas customers. SSGA is encouraging its members, suppliers and customers to stay in continual communication regarding the status of any container shipments, noting any cancelations, delays or other changes and reporting any service failures. SSGA is also urging overseas customers to be in touch with importers and regulatory agencies in their countries to press them into requiring priority service for food, feed and agricultural products.

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Pod finds new ways to raise funds in 2021 - Podpivot pivotMSGA MSGA finds new ways to raise funds in 2021

By By Soybean Business staff staff Minnesota Soybean

First, the Biodiesel Open was moved online in summer 2020, then MN AG EXPO, depriving the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association of two of its primary revenue sources. What’s a nonprofit grassroots organization to do when its top fundraising streams are essentially closed? “For a nonprofit advocacy group like ours, we rely heavily on our events to fund our mission,” MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “After 2020 and not knowing what 2021 is going to look like, we decided we needed to spring into action and continue engaging with growers virtually.” A year since COVID-19 halted large in-person gatherings in Minnesota, MSGA is evolving with the times by finding new sources of fundraising revenue. On the eve of MSGA’s 60th anniversary, the group launched several fundraising endeavors in the first quarter of 2021, including a Virtual Silent Auction in lieu of the annual Bean Vino benefit held during MN AG EXPO. Spilling the beans

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To begin the new year, MSGA launched a new webinar. The Spill the Beans series featured speakers covering an array of agriculture-related topics in the lead-up to the 2021 growing season. Spill the Beans premiered in late January on Zoom and was broadcasted on MSGA’s Facebook page. Each participant who registered became eligible to win a gift card. The series debuted with leaders from Houston Engineering, who discussed Minnesota’s 10-year watershed approach. Other guests included: MSGA’s lobbying team, Josh Stamper from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Farm Business Management instructors and American Soybean Association Chairman Bill Gordon and CEO Steve Censky. Houston Engineering, DEKALB Asgrow and Profinium all served as sponsors. MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka capped the seven episodes with his webinar showcasing the latest projects from the soybean checkoff and detailed how MSR&PC and MSGA work together to improve farmer profitability. “We were thrilled with the response we received from this webinar,” said MSGA President Jamie Beyer, who served as host for several episodes. “We featured timely topics and discussions, helping to continue conversations that we wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise.” We’re Far[MN] In late 2020, MSGA decided to go fashion forward by launching the Far[MN] Apparel Co. ecommerce store. The website features a variety of soft-style T-shirts for both men and women with the Far[MN] logo, paying homage

Let’s go fishing This winter, MSGA is custom-building an 8x18 Big Bite Fish House using soy-based materials. MSGA will be selling raffle tickets this summer, and the fish house will be displayed in Minnesota’s booth at Farmfest. The winner will be drawn at MN AG EXPO in January 2022 in Mankato. MSGA is offering four unique sponsorship opportunities for Minnesota businesses to show their support for MSGA and rural communities. The options start at just $200, and each option will include the sponsor’s logo on the fish house, along with a discount to place an ad in Soybean Business. The top sponsorship option, the “Soybean Champion,” offers nearly a dozen benefits. All funds raised from the fish house raffle, Far[MN] and Spill the Beans help fund MSGA’s nonpartisan advocacy mission, benefitting Minnesota’s farm families in 2021 and beyond. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Sara Hewitt at


MSGA launched the Far[MN] apparel line in 2020. to Minnesota’s farming culture. The shirt designs speak to the rural and agricultural lifestyle farmers are known for. The store is open to any farmer, not just MSGA members or people from Minnesota, and shirts can be shipped across the country. Those debating a purchase from the store are encouraged to act fast, as only a limited quantity of shirts are printed in each design. “Once a design is sold out, it’s sold out,” Smentek said. “We will continue to introduce new designs based on farmer feedback.” The storefront can be found by visiting the MSGA website or at

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Back on the range Biodiesel Open returns this summer Time to take your golf bag out of storage; bring out the shorts, cleats and shades; and put an iron to your Minnesoyta polo shirt. We’re back! Yes, the rumors are true. After a virtual shift in 2020, the Biodiesel Open is making returning to an in-person format in 2021. For many Minnesota Soybean Growers Association directors and advocates, the Biodiesel Open will be the first in-person gathering among farmer leaders in more than a year. “We’re very excited to once again welcome back our farmers and sponsors for the Biodiesel Open,” said MSGA President Jamie Beyer, who farms in Wheaton. “It will be great to reunite with everyone for a good cause – I know I’m looking forward to it.” The Biodiesel Open (the Bean Blast has been put on hold for the time being) will be held Tuesday, July 13 at the North Links Golf Course in North Mankato. The price remains the same from previous years: $100 per golfer, and $400 per team. Fees include: 18 holes of golf, golf cart, supper and dessert, plus drink tickets. Due to current pandemic-related dining restrictions – and to ensure everyone’s safety – there will be no indoor dining this year. For the first time, food trucks will be stationed. Currently, TNT Eats is confirmed, with more vendors to follow. 70 - Soybean Business - MAY - JUNE - 2021

By Drew Lyon

The annual fundraiser has been held in some fashion since around 2007 with farmers, industry leaders, lobbyists, bankers, lawmakers and officials from state agencies all joining together in a relaxing atmosphere to support MSGA. At the time of the Biodiesel Open’s formation, B2 (2% biodiesel) was already in place in Minnesota. The Environmental Protection Agency began to move from low sulfur diesel to ultra-low sulfur diesel, which created an opportunity for biodiesel use as a lubricity agent. Because checkoff dollars can’t be used for legislative activities, the Biodiesel Open was created to help raise funds and awareness for MSGA’s advocacy mission. To this day, with Minnesota entering its fourth year of a B20 blend in the summer months, all funds from the Biodiesel Open go toward MSGA’s lobbying efforts in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. “These fundraisers are critical to funding our Hill Visits and staffing a lobbying team at the state and federal levels,” MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “The Biodiesel Open is also a fun time and a chance for our farmers to visit and unwind a bit after planting season. We look forward to seeing old and new friends alike this year.” To register, visit For sponsorship opportunities, contact MSGA’s Sara Hewitt at


From promoting the profitability of using high-quality soybean meal in India to training animal producers on nutrition in Colombia, the soy checkoff is working behind the scenes to develop more market opportunities for U.S. soy. We’re looking inside the bean, beyond the bushel and around the world to keep preference for U.S. soy strong. And it’s helping make a valuable impact for soybean farmers like you. See more ways the soy checkoff is maximizing profit opportunities for soybean farmers at

Brought to you by the soy checkoff. ©2018 United Soybean Board. Our Soy Checkoff and the Our Soy Checkoff mark are trademarks of United Soybean Board. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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Podcasts for planting With planting season upon us, the entire ag industry will be spending a lot of time in their tractors, farm vehicles or offices. Here are a few podcast recommendations to fill your speakers, no matter where you find yourself this spring. Podcast: AgGrad podcast and Future of Agriculture podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts (Android) or Spotify Operating system: iOS, Android Price: Free AgGrad is a website dedicated entirely to helping agricultural students find jobs after completing their education. The website features free resources such as job search boards, a networking event calendar, job search and professional development e-books and more. AgGrad is also the home of two podcasts: AgGrad podcast and Future of Agriculture, both hosted by Tim Hammerich, a strategic communications consultant and former agriculture student. AgGrad is Hammerich’s original podcast and features discussions with people in a wide variety of agricultural careers. The podcast aims to help listeners discover careers and professional development tactics for careers in modern agriculture. Some recent podcasts highlight

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the importance of internships, jobs in agricultural communications, ag policy and ag economics and starting businesses in ag. Hammerich’s second podcast, Future of Agriculture, was built from feedback by AgGrad listeners who wanted to hear about more issues and ideas influencing agriculture. With population growth, limited resources and consumer preferences creating more challenges and opportunities, this podcast explores the people, companies and ideas that shape the future of agriculture. Podcast: Midwest Farm Wives podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts (Android) or Spotify Operating system: iOS, Android Price: Free Whitney and Kylie are millennial farm wives and cohosts of Midwest Farm Wives, a podcast with an optimistic, yet authentic, approach to motherhood and life on the farm. Mothers and women in ag alike will appreciate the realistic and conversational podcast as Whitney and Kylie share the good, the bad and the ugly of raising children and running agricultural businesses alongside their husbands. The co-hosts both run blogs about their life on the farm and agriculture advocacy. Whitney will also be a featured speaker at MN AG EXPO in January 2022.

BEANBRIEFS Minnesota enters fourth year of B20 Per Minnesota law, effective April 1 Minnesota moved to a B20 (20% biodiesel) blend during the summer months before reverting back to B5 (5% biodiesel) blend on Oct. 1. This will be the fourth year of B20 in Minnesota. In 2022, Minnesota Soybean will celebrate the 20th anniversary of B2 being signed into law by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty, putting the state at the forefront of the nation's renewable fuel movement. In 2020, using B20 in the summer and B5 in the winter removed an estimated 1,252,967 tons of CO2 from the air. This equates to removing the emissions of nearly 246,000 passenger vehicles each year. According to the National Biodiesel Board, biodiesel Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions are on average 80% below petroleum diesel. Studies show biodiesel lowers particulate matter by 47%, reducing smog and improving Minnesota’s environment. Each year, cleaner-burning, renewable biodiesel displaces roughly 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Commerce reminds Minnesotans the biodiesel blend requirement applies to sales of diesel meant to be used in internal combustion engines, not to fuel already stored in bulk storage tanks at farms or other businesses. All bulk diesel sold and delivered to tanks that fuel diesel equipment, such as construction equipment, truck fleets, farm equipment and generators, must contain at least the following minimums: Deliveries between October 1 – March 31: 5% Deliveries between April 1 – April 14 (Transition to 20%): 10% Deliveries between April 15 – September 30: 20% USDA announces additional COVID-19 relief In late March, the USDA announced implementation of COVID relief provisions recently authorized by Congress and through utilizing existing resources. The new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative entails significant assistance to address past and ongoing impacts

of COVID-19 and includes an additional $20 per acre payment for row crop producers. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The [department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers and timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers. Senate confirms new EPA administrator In March, Michael S. Regan was sworn in as the 16th Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Administrator Regan is the first Black man and the second person of color to lead the EPA. Prior to his nomination as EPA administrator, Regan served as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The American Soybean Association endorsed Regan’s nomination. “Every day, American farmers, ranchers and laborers work tirelessly for the food on our tables, clothes on our backs and fuel to power our daily lives,” he said. “I look forward to working with our agricultural community on ways to achieve sustainable agriculture while creating healthy, clean and safe environments for all Americans.”

EPA Administrator Michael Regan

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Bruce Zavadil knew he was

FACES OFMSGA The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) is the nation’s premier soybean association because farmers and agribusinesses recognize the value their investment in MSGA brings. Here are two examples of Minnesota members who actively promote Minnesota’s soybean industry.

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going to be the third generation to farm his family’s nearly-1,000acre operation in Pope County. What he didn’t know was he would take it over in his early 20s. “With my dad passing, it was a tough time the first few years,” Zavadil said. “A person makes mistakes, and you learn a lot and rely on some good neighbors. At that age when I had questions, they were very helpful.” Outside of farming, Zavaldi holds a degree in diesel mechanics from Alexandria Technical College. He sold Pioneer Seed for a decade, was a member of the CHS Prairie Lakes Coop Board and served on the Lowery Fire Department for more than 30 years. Zavadil and his wife, Jeannie, have four children: Sara, Nathan, Brianna and Jordan, who farm with him. Zavadil is a founding member and chair of the Pope County Corn and Soybean Growers Association, and he encourages others to support local organizations. “Our main goal … is to provide scholarships to local students going into ag careers and support FFA,” Zavadil said. “Not everyone wants to go to the capital and lobby, but having a membership gives us that.”

Ken Lanoue grew up on his family farm in Milroy. He continues to run the thirdgeneration farm with two of his sons, who will eventually run the family operation in southwest Minnesota. After graduating from South Dakota State University, he returned to the farm full-time. “I just love the different roles that we (farmers) have,” Lanoue said. Part of feeding the world is educating the world on where food comes from and how commodities are used in everyday products. Being an MSGA member gives Lanoue the tools to inform people. He’s also been a member of his local elevator board for 24 years and sells seed in addition to serving as chair of the Lyon County Corn and Soybean Growers Board. “I think people need to know where their food comes from and all the other things that corn and soybeans provide for people,” he said. “I just think it’s amazing.”


Speaking Up & Out

For more than a half-century, farmer-leaders from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association have been accustomed to traveling to the Capitol in St. Paul to testify in front of various House and Senate committees. “Throughout MSGA’s history, testifying in-person to House and Senate committees, walking the halls of the Capitol have always been some of most effective tools in publicly engaging directly with legislators,” MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “COVID, of course, has changed that.” MSGA’s 59th year of grassroots advocacy – expect a blowout celebration in 2022 for the 60th anniversary! – has been different. MSGA has stayed active throughout the 2021 Legislative Session in St. Paul, but through methods unthinkable back in the 1960s. Zoom testifying has replaced in-person meetings. But that hasn’t stopped MSGA. In fact, virtual testifying and advocacy has run smoothly – minus the occasional inconvenient broadband misconnection, which underscored the push for more better rural internet resources. “I can tell you need it,” Rep. Jim Hagedorn said, jokingly, referring to rural broadband upgrades after Director Brad Hovel’s phone connection short-circuited during Hill Visits with the American Soybean Association. In the end, MSGA advocates saved hundreds of hours in travel time to St. Paul and Washington, D.C., and were able to meet with nearly 40 legislators during its annual Hill Visits.

“Anytime you can make a personal connection, the better off we are,” MSGA Director Andy Pulk said. In January, MSGA President Jamie Beyer virtually testified against the Clean Cars Rule. Beyer, on behalf of MSGA, followed up by submitting a public comment to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “Minnesota’s farmers and the biodiesel industry have invested millions of dollars into our industries, and Minnesota’s economy and air quality has benefited greatly from our work,” Beyer testified. The governor’s initial biennial budget proposal failed to include any funding for the Northern Crops Institute at North Dakota State University. MSGA, along with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, has long supported NCI’s research and value-added efforts and outreach in promoting the quality of the region’s soybeans. “NCI educates buyers about Minnesota beans and brings about $250 million in farm gate sales," Smentek said. "The return on investment is huge." As a result of MSGA’s testimony, funding for NCI was added to the governor’s biennial budget, likely ensuring NCI will continue to receive state funding. During his Hill Visit meeting with farmer-directors, Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen credited MSGA leaders with raising awareness on the “bang for your buck” growers see from NCI. “Take credit for that,” Petersen said. MAY - JUNE - 2021 - Soybean Business

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