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Growing the Miracle Plant: Soybeans

Buddy Adamson
(800) 392-5705, ext. 4216

The Alabama Farmers Federation Soybean Division is composed of farmers throughout the state who produce soybeans as part or all of their livelihoods. Soybeans have been grown for thousands of years as food for millions of people around the earth and as a feed ingredient for the livestock industry. But there is more to this familiar legume than just the simple bean we have come to take for granted.

The complex structure of the soybean plant also provides us with the basic building blocks to make hundreds of different products for use in industry and in the home.

Research efforts funded by soybean farmers are leading to more soybean products being created every year. Soybeans are used to make lotions, candles, cleaners, crayons, diesel additives, fabric conditioner, hair and body care products, paint removers, pens, polish, shampoos and waxes, just to name a few.

The Soybean Division represents farmers on a national, state and local level and has county committees in 28 counties in Alabama.

Alabama soybean producers produced 300,000 acres of soybeans in 2011. The average production was approximately 33 bushels per acre. Total soybean production in Alabama for 2011 was 9.74 million bushels. The top 5 soybean producing counties in Alabama are Jackson, Madison, Baldwin, Limestone and DeKalb counties.

Goals and Issues

Goals of the Soybean Division are determined by a state committee, which is elected by other soybean producers throughout the state.

Issues and challenges facing producers are evaluated each year and priorities placed on each to determine a focus for the divisions efforts. Goals include:

  • Work to promote use of soybeans through traditional and innovative means.
  • Work to make farm bill payments payable to the producer and not tied to land.
  • Promote use of soy diesel as a clean, renewable energy source.
  • Work to educate producers on how to identify and combat soybean rust.
  • Work to provide incentives for farmers to use biofuels.

Members of the 2013 Alabama Farmers Federation State Soybean Committee are seated from left, Chairman Pat Buck of Sumter County, First Vice Chairman Don Glenn of Lawrence County, Second Vice Chairman Colt Clemmons of Lauderdale County, Annie Dee of Pickens County and Federation Soybean Division Director Buddy Adamson; back row, Robert Earl Acker of Cherokee County, David Bitto of Baldwin County, Mike Neal of Jackson County, Rickey Cornutt of Marshall County and Charles Butler of Madison County.

Activities and Programs

  • Encourage producer support of the national checkoff program.
  • Through the State Committee, continue working with Auburn University research personnel to develop the best possible soybean research program.
  • Encourage participation in the grain-marketing program.
  • Support division's work to insure efficiency of the state docks elevators.
  • Support activities of the American Soybean Association.
  • Promote programs to increase soybean utilization.
  • Work to make soybean research available to farmers through on farm demonstrations and extension programs.

Helping farmers address everyday problems is a key part of our mission. As new challenges arise, Alabama Soybean Producers is poised to address those problems for the good of its producer members. The Soybean Division works with the Alabama Soybean Association, the United Soybean Board and Auburn University in sponsoring and promoting educational events and demonstrations for soybean farmers. These events increase soybean farmers' understanding of soybean production, marketing and research.

Related Links

American Soybean AssociationAuburn University College of Agriculture
United Soybean Board

Soybean Salad is a quick and easy way to incorporate one of the state's top commodities into a delicious dish. For this recipe and more, order the Federation's new cookbook today at FarmingFeedsAlabama.com.

Alabama Farmers Federation at Work for Alabama Producers

As a part of Alabama Farmers Federation, the Soybean Division is represented at the state and national levels through departments of Governmental Affairs and National Affairs. The Department of Public Relations provides communications about important issues and notices through its monthly magazine, Neighbors, and biweekly newsletter, Cultivator.

The Local Connection

County Farmers Federations, with the assistance of Area Organization Directors, provide support and a mechanism to address issues on the local level. Herein lies the strength of Alabama Farmers Federation. Each county may establish its own Soybean Committee. Needs and requests from producers in the county are the beginning of policy development and the direction of Alabama Soybean Producers. You may contact your county Soybean Chairman, or if none currently exists, the Area Organization Director in your region or your County President for more information.

Why Should I be a Member of Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Soybean Producers?

The Alabama Farmers Federation brings farmers of all commodities together for a common cause. Together, we can accomplish more for everyone's benefit. The more producers actively participating in Alabama Farmers Federation and Alabama Soybean Producers, the more effective the organization can be on issues affecting them. With membership in the Alabama Farmers Federation, come many benefits.

Did you know?

  • Soybeans have been an important part of the human diet for over 4,000 years.
  • In 1979, Alabama Soybean Producers harvested over 2.1 million acres of soybeans. In 2011, Alabama Soybean Producers harvested 300,000 acres of soybeans.
  • Soybeans are generally acknowledged to be the highest quality vegetable protein source and one of the most abundant.
  • The world produces over 60 million metric tons of soybeans each year.
  • One acre of soybeans can furnish 584 pounds of edible protein and sustain an individual for 2,224 days.

For more information, contact Buddy Adamson, Director of the Alabama Soybean Producers, P.O. Box 11000, Montgomery, AL 36191-0001. Phone: (800) 392-5705, ext. 4216.

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