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For Biotech Varieties, The Sky Is The Limit

Good seeds make a good crop. Biotechnology improves the crop of seeds available, providing farmers with new ways to combat weeds and insects, overcome agronomic challenges and produce more nutritious food to better meet customer demands.

Richard Fordyce, checkoff farmer-leader and Missouri soybean farmer, recently talked with Beyond the Bean about the endless opportunities offered by biotechnology.

Q: Richard, you’ve served as team lead for the United Soybean Board’s Biotech Initiative. Could you tell us about this initiative and its purpose?

A: It was something the board felt we needed to be more involved in, educating others and ourselves about the advantages of biotech. So one of our main goals was to try to educate not only folks who are writing regulations in foreign trading-partner countries, but also farmers, the media and consumers here and in other countries.

Q: Biotech education has been a focus of the checkoff. How has the initiative reached these audiences?

A: We’ve held what we call international farmer dialogues and had farmers from USB go to other countries to talk about biotech. We also invited farmers and regulators from other countries to the United States to learn about biotech. We developed a science teachers’ curriculum to teach kids about biotech. Basically, we’ve planted the seed and are waiting for harvest.

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