Missouri’s soybean farmers broke ground on a new building in western Jefferson City today, kicking off a roughly 18-month project to develop the Center for Soy Innovation. Soybean growers at the event highlighted the need to be a resource for farmers and the community as a driving force behind the project.
“The Center for Soybean Innovation is the answer to the questions ‘Who and what are we going to be to the farmers of Missouri for the next 20 years?’,” said Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council chairman John Kelley of Faucett. “This is putting our soybean research to work and communicating the impact soybean have on our lives every day.”
The Center for Soybean Innovation will bring together the many organizations working with and on behalf of Missouri’s soybean growers in one location, and serve as a hub for business development and incubation, as well as value-added agriculture. From the Missouri Soybean Association and Merchandising Council to the Biodiesel Coalition of Missouri and Foundation for Soy Innovation to the administrative functions for farmer-owned biodiesel plants, Missouri Farmers Care and the Ag Education on the Move programs, it will be a one-stop-shop. The building will also feature soy-based building materials and demonstrate new uses for soybean, from soy-based countertops, flooring and insulation to turf, asphalt sealant and biodiesel/BioHeat.
“With its education center and conference space, the Center for Soybean Innovation expands our opportunities to host agricultural, youth and community groups,” Kelley said. “We look forward to hosting school groups, trainings, workshops and events – better serving soybean farmers, and better connecting with people who might not have strong personal ties to agriculture.”
The Missouri Soybean Association and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council boards of directors and staff have worked closely with The Architects Alliance to develop the building concept, design plans and scout locations. Central Missouri Professional Services, SSC Engineering and Gredell Engineering also assisted in project development and site selection.
In February of this year, the Jefferson City Council approved the preliminary Planned Unit Development proposal, and in May, the Missouri Soybean Association purchased the lot at 734 S. Country Club Drive from the Stockman family.
Information on bid opportunities related to the project, as well as for soy-focused businesses to showcase their products, will be posted to mosoy.org as they become available throughout the duration of the project.
The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is a statewide, farmer-led organization working to improve opportunities for Missouri soybean farmers though a combination of research, outreach, education and market development efforts supported by the soy checkoff.