Soy-based products win green ribbons at fairs


This summer, U.S. soybean farmers will show some of their products at 11 state, county and regional fairs. The soybean checkoff’s Green Ribbon Fairs program will introduce millions of fair attendees – from both rural and urban areas – to the benefits of soy-based consumer and industrial products.

The United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff will reimburse the fairs for using soy-based products as part of fair operations, activities or facilities improvements. They’ll use a variety of soy-based products, including soy biodiesel, cleaning products, dust suppressants, hand sanitizer, ink, insulation, maintenance products, paint and more. The fairs will promote the use of these products as green alternatives to petrochemical-based products to attendees.

USB Vice Chair Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D., says this partnership offers an opportunity to educate fairgoers on soy products and the farmers who grow them and help develop many of them by investing checkoff dollars to find new uses for U.S. soybeans.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity to show what U.S. soybean farmers and the soybean checkoff have been doing to help create new, sustainable uses for soy and make them available for use by consumers,” Kummer says. “Soy is such a miracle crop – it can be used to make food for people and feed for animals as well as everyday consumer products.”

The 11 fairs, spread across nine states, could draw as many as 2.6 million people combined. The list of participating fairs includes:

  • Heart of Illinois Fair, Peoria, Ill., July 8-16
  • Delaware County Fair, Manchester, Iowa, July 11-17
  • Michigan Soybean Festival and Fowler County Fair, Fowlerville, Mich., July 25-30 (fair) and Sept. 10-11 (festival)
  • Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio, July 27-Aug. 7
  • Ozark Empire Fair, Springfield, Mo., July 27-Aug. 7
  • Finney County Fair, Garden City, Kan., July 28-30
  • Schoharie County Sunshine Fair, Cobleskill, N.Y., July 29-Aug. 6
  • Missouri State Fair, Sedalia, Mo., Aug. 11-21
  • Dutchess County Fair, Rhinebeck, N.Y., Aug. 23-28
  • Maryland State Fair, Timonium, Md., Aug. 25- Sept. 5
  • Dyer County Fair, Dyersburg, Tenn., Sept. 5-10

The checkoff funds research and development of soy-based products, including supporting many products on the market today. Thanks in part to this funding, more than 1 billion pounds of U.S. soybean oil could go to industrial uses this year. Soy products represent renewable, U.S.-grown alternatives that, in some cases, outperform their petroleum-based counterparts.

USB is made up of 69 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.