By Debra Davis
Madison County farmer Sam Butler has been appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to the United Soybean Board (USB). Butler, along with seven other new farmer-leaders and 11 reappointed board members, will be sworn in at the USB annual meeting in December and will serve a three-year term.
“It is an honor to serve and represent my fellow soybean farmers on the USB,” said Butler, 44, who farms with his father, Charles, and brother, Matt, in the Poplar Ridge community near New Hope. “The checkoff directly benefits soybean farmers by expanding markets and increasing the uses and demand for beans we produce.”
Butler is a fifth-generation farmer and fourth-generation graduate of Auburn University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and an MBA.
Butler served as the Alabama director for the American Soybean Association (ASA) from 2010 to 2019 and is a former president of the Alabama Soybean and Corn Association.
In addition to soybeans, the Butlers grow corn, wheat and cotton in a rotation on their farm.
Authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, the USB is composed of 78 members representing 29 states.
The number of seats is determined based on bushels produced in each region. Members must be soybean farmers nominated by a Qualified State Soybean Board. In Alabama, that board is the Alabama Soybean Producers, an affiliate of the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Pickens County farmer Annie Dee recently completed her third three-year term on the USB.
Butler joins Dallas County farmer Wendy Yeager on the board. Yeager was appointed last year.
The Federation’s Carla Hornady said she appreciates Butler’s willingness to serve and provide guidance on the USB.
“Alabama farmers benefit from USB’s work as they administer checkoff activities focused on research and market development,” said Hornady, the Federation’s Soybean Division director. “Sam will join Wendy in representing Alabama well. We also appreciate Annie’s service for the past nine years. She has made a significant impact on the board.”
The soy checkoff provides significant value to farmers by leveraging checkoff funds in investments and programs to build preference for U.S. soy across the country and around the world.