Jenera farmer John Motter has been elected chairman of the United Soybean Board, which administers funds farmers pay for research, promotion and marketing of the nation’s soybean crop.
It’s an important job with 59 percent of the U.S. soybean crop competing in the export market.
Motter was elected to the one-year term as chairman by the other 72 members of the board. He is in his third three-year term on the board. He was reappointed to the board a year ago by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The United Soybean Board funds university and industry research in soybeans. For a while, the soybean board was focused on producing more of the crop. It now is working on “making the bean coming out of the United States higher quality than our competitors in South America,” Motter said.
That means increasing the bean’s oil and protein content. High-protein soybean meal is an important supplement for chicken, hog and cattle feeds, Motter said.
Soybean oil is in edible oil, like cooking oils and those used in the food manufacturing industry. Prominent users include Frito-Lay, Kellogg’s and General Mills, he said. In fact, the edible oil market uses about two-thirds of the U.S. soybean crop, Motter said. The rest of the soybean oil supplies industrial uses, like biodiesel, adhesives, polymers, resins, tires and car seat cushions, he said.
Motter is a third-generation soybean farmer. He farms about 750 acres in Hancock and Allen counties on a corn-and-soybean rotation.