U.S. soybean producers are undertaking a massive humanitarian effort to bring nutrition and hope to developing countries throughout the world. The World Soy Foundation (WSF) has issued a challenge to all U.S. soybean producers to donate at least one acre of production to fund their cause.
is a farmer-run and funded organization that helps undernourished people receive needed nutrition and encourages them to build a business at the same time.
"WSF receives no checkoff money. It is entirely privately funded by charitable gifts from industry supporters and by producer funding. We want more farm partners through the Acre Challenge,” says Roy Bardole, a soybean producer from Rippey, Iowa, and the president of WSF.
The program was started two years ago and is a 501c3 corporation. All gifts to the group are tax deductible. The group wants farmers to take their average per-acre soybean yield and multiply by their selling price and donate that to the foundation
How it works
WSF works contractors like WISHH to see the money is used to fund nutrition projects in developing countries
, which now are primarily in the Carribean, Central America and some African countries. Nathan Ruby, the executive director of WSF points to programs in Nicaragua and Guatemala as two very successful programs using the VitaGoat and the SoyCow.
The two machines enable people in these countries to mix one pound of soybeans with four gallons of water to produce soymilk. "After about 30 minutes of processing, they will end up with about 4 gallons of soymilk.
"Our goal then is not for them to just consume the milk. We are encouraging them to take the product and sell it in order to start a small business. We're helping them with that, too.”
The first round of soybeans are donated by WSF and the intent is for the milk producers to purchase later supplies of soybeans. "This helps teach independence and trains them to run a business, he says.”
Andy Welden, a Janesville, Mich., soybean producer, is one farmer who has taken the challenge. "I'm doing this because it's a humanitarian effort. I've had 30 years on our state checkoff board and that's about the money and our mission was to improve profitability for soybean farmers. But one thing that stands out about this is it's improving human health.”
WSF has also been active in Haiti since the devastating earthquake last month. The group is sending soy cookies to aid in the current recovery efforts and it has plans to be there long after the television cameras and the media leaves with program similar programs to the VitaGoat and SoyCow programs they are running in Central America.