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Soybean Checkoff Highlights Efforts to End Hunger on World Food Day

Soybean Checkoff Highlights Efforts to End Hunger on World Food Day

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2008 10:04 pm

ST. LOUIS (October 16, 2008) – Soy is a vital part of helping alleviate world hunger so the United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff support several international programs to promote U.S. soy across the globe. The goal of World Food Day (WFD), happening today, is to improve nutrition across the globe, and soy is a part of those efforts. World Food Day is a worldwide event designed to increase awareness, understanding and year-round action to alleviate hunger. The soybean checkoff works to increase demand for U.S. soy overseas through the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). One of the biggest efforts of the checkoff and USSEC includes promoting soy as part of the nutritional programs that governments provide to feed children. For example, in Latin American countries, the government fed 11 million children using soy protein in their daily diets. Another 5.7 million children in Mexico were fed diets that included soy cookies, textured soy proteins and soymilk or dairy formulations that contain soy. In addition, a corn-soy blend formulation is the most consumed product in government food-aid programs in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Colombia. Government food aid programs represent about 40 percent of the total consumption of soybeans for the human health market worldwide. To celebrate food aid and other programs, WFD is observed each October 16 in recognition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization formation in 1945. 2008 is the 28th observance of WFD. In the United States the endeavor is sponsored by 450 national, private voluntary organizations, and WFD planning is done at the community level. “As a soybean farmer I’m proud to be a part of the solution to world hunger,” says Terry Ecker, United Soybean Board (USB) International Marketing committee chair and a soybean farmer from Elmo, Mo. “The soybean checkoff will continue to fund efforts that promote U.S. soy, which helps feed the world, using soy protein or the meat, milk and eggs from animals fed soy protein.” Additional soybean checkoff promotions to increase consumption of U.S. soy include partnerships with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and U.S.A. Poultry and Egg Export Council to promote U.S. meat, poultry and eggs to international markets. The soybean checkoff also promotes educational efforts on the value of soy to children across the globe. One specific promotion encouraged children in grades 4 through 6 in Mexico and Costa Rica, via a drawing contest. The contest taught participants about the general uses and benefits of soy protein. The program targeted nearly 70,000 people, including parents and students, about the benefits of soy for human consumption. The contest selected six winners from each country and the winners received a trip to the United States to visit a soybean farm and other cultural sites. “On this 28th World Food Day it’s important to continue the fight of eliminating world hunger,” says Ecker. “Soy has been instrumental in reducing world hunger, and we will continue to work at supplying soy protein to even more of the world’s population.” USB is made up of 68 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff. Posted 10.20.08

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