Soybean Checkoff Pioneer Receives Award for Excellence in Agriculture
Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:01 pm
ST. LOUIS (May 27, 2010) – The first leader of the national soybean checkoff program will be honored by his home state’s major land-grant university. Former United Soybean Board (USB) farmer-leader Sander “Sandy” Ludeman will be receiving the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture in the category of production agriculture from the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a degree in agricultural economics.
Ludeman, a soybean farmer from Tracy, Minn., was instrumental in the creation of the soybean checkoff and USB. He continues to be an ambassador for U.S. agriculture and the U.S. soybean industry through his involvement in several agricultural organizations.
“This award is important to me because of the effort by myself and many others to establish the national soybean checkoff,” says Ludeman. “It’s meaningful to have our time and effort recognized.”
Nearly 20 years ago, Ludeman not only helped to create the national soybean checkoff but also served as the first USB chairman in 1991 and 1992. He served on USB until his retirement from the national soybean checkoff board in 1994. Ludeman’s nomination letter details the commitment Ludeman and his fellow soybean farmers made when they founded the national soybean checkoff and how this movement supported an entire industry. The information presented in the letter is supported by statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture that show how the global use and the price of soybeans have increased since the inception of the national soybean checkoff, including improvement in the value of U.S. soybeans from $11 billion in 1990/91 to $32 billion predicted for 2009/10.
“Looking back, we can see what a success the soybean checkoff has been,” adds Ludeman. “What the checkoff is now was our vision 20 years ago. It’s been a positive thing for the industry.”
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.