The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, a producer-led organization serving the state’s soybean industry through research, education and promotion, is celebrating Arkansas Soybean Month.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed November to be Arkansas Soybean Month in 2021 to honor soybean producers and recognize the significance of the soybean industry to the state’s economy. The announcement came as the board celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“We do close to 3 million acres of soybean production in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said. That is more than rice, corn and wheat all combined. Our No. 1 row crop is soybean. When agriculture is our No. 1 industry in Arkansas and soybean is the largest part of that, it deserves a month of recognition and expression of appreciation to the farmers that contribute so much to our way of life and to our economy.”
Soybeans are a $2 billion industry in Arkansas with approximately 3 million acres planted each year across the state. Of that, 50% of the state’s soybeans are exported. Arkansas consistently ranks among the top 10 soybean producing states in the nation.
“We have done a lot since the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board was established 50 years ago to improve the soybean industry and to make its importance known to the state in Arkansas,” said ASPB Chair Donald Morton. “Our research has supported industry advancement, our state is represented on the national leadership board, and we are reaching a wider audience – including students and consumers. Our work has only begun. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.”
Board was established in 1971
The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board was established in 1971 after the Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 259, which created a nine-member board that administers research, promotion and market development.
The board’s activities are funded by the soybean checkoff, a congressionally mandated assessment on soybeans specifically designated for research and promotion efforts. The board is led by nine soybean producers who are nominated by certain soybean-related organizations and appointed by the governor.