BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A crisp fall morning at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield calls for a hot soy latte served fresh from Illinois soybean farmers. The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program proudly represents the No. 1 soybean growing state in the nation. The soybean value chain and associated industries add a sales value of $28.3 billion to the state’s economy and account for 114,500 Illinois jobs. Soybean farmers and ISA staff shared this news with legislators and their staff over a fresh cup of coffee, prepared by Free Press Coffee House in Springfield.
“A conversation over coffee is often the best way to catch up with someone,” said Stan Born, ISA director and farmer from Lovington, Illinois. “We know our state legislators and their staff are very busy, so we thought, ‘Why not bring soy lattes to them?’ We appreciate the time they were able to take meeting farmers like myself firsthand.”
In addition to the soybean sales value, Illinois soybean farmers shared with legislators sustainability, animal agriculture and biodiesel information.
- Soybean meal feeds the Illinois livestock industry, a business with a $30.4 billion impact on the state’s economy.
- More than $23 billion in commodities are shipped on Illinois’ inland waterways annually. However, Illinois received a D-grade for its inland waterway infrastructure in 2014 from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Deferred critical maintenance to locks and dams has brought the cost of repair to approximately $599 million.
- From 1980 to 2015, soybeans improved resource efficiency with decreases in per bushel land use (-40 percent), irrigation water use (-32 percent), energy use (-35 percent), greenhouse gas emissions (-38 percent) and improvements in per acre soil conservation (-47 percent).
- Fifteen Illinois Soybean Association B20 Club members run more than 4,800 vehicles on B20 fuel – a blend of 20 percent biodiesel with petroleum diesel. The associated reductions in CO2 emissions are equal to planting 234,279 trees.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C., through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.
— Illinois Soybean Association
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