Michigan has over 12,000 soybean farmers who work hard each year to raise soybeans on more than 2.2 million acres annually. Soybeans are an important crop worldwide because their uses are almost limitless! Soybeans are made up of two main components: meal and oil. Soybean meal is primarily used for animal feed with a small percentage utilized for human foods and other products. Soybean oil is used in human food, biofuels, and many other products. Soybeans are found in food, feed, fuel, and fiber that we use every day!
Food: Soybeans as a Food Source
Soybeans are a powerhouse on the plate. Regularly eating soy protein may be beneficial for cholesterol levels and has been shown to be associated with a reduction in total cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Soy protein is the only plant-based protein that is comparable in quality to animal protein with a complete profile of essential amino acids.
Feed: Soybeans as Animal Feed
Soybean meal is a good source of protein and therefore, soybeans are commonly used as a part of an animal’s healthy diet. Poultry, pigs, cattle, and fish all enjoy having soybean meal added into their diets.
Fuel: Soybeans as a fuel source
Biodiesel and renewable diesel are types of fuels that can be made using soybean oil. Using biodiesel and renewable diesel instead of petroleum-based fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent.
Fiber: Soybeans as a renewable ingredient
Soybeans are a sustainable, renewable ingredient found not only in fiber but many other consumer goods such as shoes, tires, paint, sealants, and more.
Communication efforts of the Michigan soybean checkoff program focus on educational messages and activities aimed toward farmers, influencers, consumers and youth. Messages are intended to lead key audiences to recognize the value of soybeans in Michigan so they can make well-informed decisions and have a greater understanding of where their food comes from and who grows it.