Giving Voice to Family Farms

For far too long factor food companies have tried to tell family farmers how to farm. Help us push back with field-level facts that help protect the whole ecosystem.

Independent university and commercial agriculture scientists have discovered a way to see which soybean varieties deliver more soybean oil per bushel than others. This field-level fact matters to food sustainability leaders because soybean oil and protein are inversely correlated. However, a sound biofuel policy addressing that fact can improve food and energy sustainability instead of undermining it.

Selecting soybeans based on oil value can significantly increase the efficiency of biodiesel production, but there are barriers standing in the way that grassroots Proactivism can help remove.


Key barriers to farmers earning more money for producing soybeans with better oil:

  1. Farmers naturally select soybean varieties for yields. Most are unaware that varieties can be selected for higher oil.
  2. Seed companies and most of the soybean industry do not focus on improved soybean protein with few exceptions, including Benson Hill, AgReliant, and Syngenta. Others have disregarded decades of nutritionists’ warnings that soybean protein is declining, because they don’t get paid directly for nutrition quality.
  3. Processors do not pay directly for higher oil levels.
  4. Soybean protein and oil often work against each other in soybean varieties, so when one goes up the other goes down. Some varieties are good at delivering both.
  5. There is a single processing system for soybean protein and oil, which means optimal results are not achievable with the current approach to processing soybeans.

ProActivism Solutions

Here’s how supporting ProActivism helps improve family farm revenue and advance sustainability:

  1. INDEPENDENT SCIENCE — Ongoing data collection and analysis are needed to determine which new soybean varieties deliver the best feed value to oil customers.
    1. We have a network of livestock specific websites under development building on our work with Additional reporting is needed on soybean oil value.
  2. Farmer and customer education programs with independent funding are essential. Farmers cannot get paid for value they don’t know about. This means funding is needed for:
    1. Advertising campaigns in farm and consumer magazines
    2. Industry relations programs that bring people together around farming and fuel
  3. Value-sharing negotiations are necessary on behalf of farmers, to ensure people who deliver better oil value get paid their fair share of the sale.
    1. We need your support to hire legal and political experts to get financial support for farmers who are helping achieve the administration’s new energy goals.
    2. The more farmers who sign up and agree to plant the soybeans with the highest oil value, the more data power they have to get paid more through negotiations with soybean buyers

Science Support

The article Characterizing Soybean Meal Value Variation across the United States: A Swine Case Study, describes the original research by the independent FieldRise and Blue Spring teams that found the feed value variations hiding in soybean varieties.

It’s even easier to measure oil value at the variety level and an independent science team has requested the necessary data from the soybean checkoff.

Learn more about ethanol

Learn more about soy biodiesel

How you can help

Support Proactivism Financially  – We’re raising money to make sure grassroots food and energy sustainability science can be heard and these seeds of new hope find good soil. Farmer and consumer education are needed to inform everyone what’s hiding behind decades of slow declines in the quality of the world’s corn and soy.

Sign up to join the movement – We will send updates for you to post on social media or share in your corporate communications to help support farmers and the families they feed.