Michigan Soybean Association highlights economic, social, environmental sustainability in presentation to legislative staff
Sustainability across the agricultural supply chain remains front and center nationwide. Driven by consumer demand, corporations and large users of agricultural products are instituting new benchmarks and requirements for sustainable production. Michigan farmers and producers have taken proactive steps to show sustainability and boost their sustainability footprint.
On Monday, September 19, the Agriculture Leaders of Michigan hosted a conversation with Gail Frahm, executive director of the Michigan Soybean Association and Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee~The Soybean Checkoff to describe for legislative staff members efforts by farmers statewide to boost sustainability.  
“Sustainability is a major focus for soybean farmers across the state, encompassing environmental stewardship, social responsibility and commitment to strong farms in the future,” Frahm said. “By looking ahead and being innovative, we are able to overcome challenges that can hurt crops such as the weather, weeds, insects and disease, while boosting production and making our communities even stronger.”
Protecting our air, land and Great Lakes for future generations, while striving to increase yields that keep farms economically viable, is a critical part of the sustainability equation. Modern technology plays a major role in these efforts. For instance, farmers use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and variable-rate technology to apply seed, fertilizer and pesticides. Using these guiding technologies soybean farmers have decreased their fuel usage and optimized the use of fertilizer and chemicals, which ultimately yields a stronger bottom line.
Social responsibility – strengthening the rural communities farmers call home – is also important.
“We don’t just want to be good neighbors to other farmers,” Frahm, said.  “We know that with about 1% of the nation actively farming, most people aren’t directly involved in agriculture.
That means here in Michigan, most people aren’t involved in farming. Soybean farmers are cognizant of this, and are constantly working hard to build strong ties with neighboring communities.”
She noted that more than one-third of soybean farmers are active in their local community, and 65-percent of those farmers are involved in their community at least once a month.
The Michigan Soybean Association and Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee~The Soybean Checkoff are committed to sharing sustainability stories across the industry. You can learn more about sustainability in the soybean industry by visiting: http://michigansoybean.org/checkoff-at-work/outreach/sustainability/.
ALM is a coalition of agricultural, commodity and agribusiness leaders committed to promoting Michigan agriculture, participating in the ongoing dialogue about issues affecting our state, and harnessing agriculture’s power and potential to further grow Michigan’s economy.
You can learn more about ALM by visiting www.agleadersmi.com.
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