The American Soybean Association (ASA) says it has expressed disappointment upon receiving news that a few disgruntled checkoff and state leaders have formed a new soybean federation in an attempt to distract the U.S. soybean industry and undermine ASA's efforts calling for an audit and investigation of the national soybean checkoff. The ASA calls the action by these individuals illogical considering that USDA Secretary Schafer has already recommended that the Inspector General conduct an audit and investigation of the national soybean checkoff in response to the concerns and allegations raised in ASA's petition.
"At ASA, we believe the action proposed by a few farmers to establish a soybean federation is a radical and ill-conceived move," said ASA President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn. "It is truly unfortunate that some checkoff and state leaders feel so threatened by ASA's efforts to have an impartial investigation to find out the truth about national soybean checkoff operations that they are willing to go to such lengths. Soybean farmers are best served by a single national policy organization that speaks to lawmakers with a unified voice, and an accountable and transparent national soybean checkoff that operates in a legal, ethical, and financially responsible manner. The action being taken by a few individuals in Minnesota and Missouri jeopardizes both."
ASA Chairman John Hoffman, a soybean producer from Waterloo, Iowa, added, "Unfortunately, this move illustrates all too well some of the problems that have been alleged about the national checkoff, namely the lack of transparency, accountability and the willingness to spend tremendous resources for self-preservation