Soybean checkoff-funded research shows U.S. soybean farmers remain committed to sustainably increasing production in order to meet growing global demand for food. The United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff will co-sponsor the American Soybean Association’s (ASA’s) Conservation Legacy Awards as a way of recognizing U.S. soybean farmers who demonstrate outstanding environmental and conservation achievements. In addition, Monsanto, BASF and Corn & Soybean Digest are sponsors.

The awards honor farmers whose practices are both environmentally friendly and profitable at the same time. USB invites U.S. soybean farmers to register for the award by Aug. 5. For more information or to submit an application, click here.

David Wilson, team lead of USB’s Sustainability Initiative and a soybean farmer from Lincoln, AL, believes the majority of U.S. soybean farmers operate sustainably now. He says awards like this one can help highlight those efforts to people outside of agriculture.

“To me, this is one of the most important awards given out every year, because it highlights farmers’ efforts to people outside of agriculture, not just to our fellow farmers,” Wilson says. “Sustainability should be the first thing on every farmer’s mind, from conservation to crop protection products to tillage to the crops and the rotations that he or she plants.”

USB created its Sustainability Initiative to help improve the environmental footprint of the entire U.S. soybean industry. That task begins with raising awareness among U.S. soybean farmers on why sustainability is important.

Past checkoff surveys show a majority of U.S. soybean farmers believe they’re the environmental stewards of the land and have adopted sustainable farming practices.

Additionally, the checkoff funds studies, such as one conducted by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, that show soybean production is environmentally sustainable.

Conservation Legacy Award winners will be selected based on three criteria: cropland management practices, farmstead protection and conservation and environmental management. Awards will be given to farmers from three regions: Midwest, Northeast and South. The three winners will all receive expense-paid trips to next year’s Commodity Classic, where the national winner will be announced.