Soy Checkoff Executive Named Agribusiness Leader of the Year PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Erin Hamm   
Monday, 27 February 2012 16:28

ST. LOUIS (February 24, 2012) - John Becherer, CEO of the United Soybean Board (USB) and national soy checkoff, has been named the 2012 Agribusiness Leader of the Year by the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). This award, NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the opening general session of the 2012 Agri-Marketing Conference, “Acres of Innovation,” on April 19 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award honors outstanding leaders in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness-related areas who exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

“This is NAMA’s highest award, and it honors executives throughout agriculture for their leadership and innovation,” said Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D., and USB chair. “On behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers, I want to thank John for his unwavering commitment to creating profit opportunities for every U.S. soybean farmer. We should all feel proud of our great USB achievements with John serving as our CEO.” 

For nearly 18 years, John Becherer has guided a board of more than 60 volunteer U.S. soybean farmer-directors through times of growth and change. The soy checkoff organization marked its 20th anniversary in 2011. Global demand for soybeans has increased more than 150 percent since the soy checkoff began in 1991. Becherer helped build this growth at a pace that has outperformed global demand for any other major U.S. row crop. 

Last year alone, Becherer helped USB farmer-leaders create a new long-range strategic plan; develop a new effort that could redefine how the marketplace determines the value of U.S. soy and reward U.S. soybean farmers for quality; and direct the first formal, independent, third-party assessment of USB’s governance and structure in the organization’s 20 years of existence.
Becherer also engaged private industry to more effectively build confidence among consumers about today’s agriculture and our food supply by helping to create the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. The organization has grown to include more than 70 major U.S. farm and commodity organizations from just 20 when it began in 2010.

The soy checkoff leads the world in farmer-funded soy research and promotion and provides U.S. soybean farmers with an advantage in an increasingly competitive international agricultural sector.
In addition to leading the soy checkoff, Becherer continues to identify needs throughout the agriculture and soy industry. He was instrumental in forming organizations such as QUALISOY and Commodity Checkoff Roundtable to bring allied U.S. agricultural interests together.
Becherer received the 2009 Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award from the St. Louis club.

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.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit
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