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AG DAY A GOOD TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE SOYBEAN VALUE TO ECONOMY

 AG DAY A GOOD TIME TO ACKNOWLEDGE SOYBEAN VALUE TO ECONOMY
 COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Jobs and agricultural exports go hand in hand. If you don't believe it, just ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture which estimates for each $1 bllion of U.S. agricultural exports, more than 30,000 jobs are generated in the U.S. economy. With today's recession-burdened economy, farm exports are one bright spot worthy of recognition of National AG Day, March 20.
 "It is fitting for us to remind the public on National AG Day this year of the assets American agriculture and the soybean industry bring to the nation's economy," said Bob Utz, chairman Ohio Soybean Council. Utz said U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show that in 1990, agricultural exports supported more than one million full-time civilian jobs. Two-thirds of those were in the nonfarm sector, including manufacturing, transportation and trade. At the same time, agricultural exports generated more than $102 billion in business activity, with one-third of that in exports and two-thirds in supporting activities. Furthermore, each dollar received created a multplier effect of more than two, according to the most recent USDA statistics.
 Viewed on a boarder scale the economic data is even more dramatic.
 "The food and fiber system, which includes farming and all related industries, accounted for 20.7 million workers in 1990," said one economic research service representative. That's 16.6 percent of all U.S. workers. The sector also accounted for 15.4 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP)."
 Given the fact about one of every six workers in the U.S. is employed in the food and fiber sector, the contribution of agriculture to the U.S. economy is obvious.
 Soybeans play a significant role in the U.S. Food and Fiber sector. The 1991 soybean crop is valued by USDA at about $11.1 billion, and U.S. soybean exports could potentially reach a value of nearly $4 billion this year. Theoretically, that equates to nearly 120,000 jobs in the soybean export area alone.
 "If we look at soybeans specifically, about 176 jobs are created for every one million bushels of soybean exports," said American Soybean Association's (ASA) Director of Planning and Evaluation David Asbridge. "This year, U.S. soybean exports are estimated at a higher level than a year ago, and that in itself is responsible theoretically for about 20,000 jobs. The higher the soybean exports, the more jobs for the U.S. economy."
 "Soybeans and soybean products are so widely used, that it is hard to imagine the U.S. without domestic soybean production," said Utz. "Shoppers could be faced with fewer, even more expensive choices on supermarket shelves because soyoil is used extensively in food manufacturing. Without domestically produced soyoil, other U.S-produced vegetable oils and imported oils would be used instead. Without soybean production, meat prices could rise because soymeal, the primary, most efficient source of livestock feed, would not be readily available. Farmers would have to import feeding materials or substitute other less efficient domestic products, and consumers might pay more for food products."
 If soybean farmers have their way, soybeans and soybean products will be an even more important economic resource in the future. Recently soybean producers initiated a natiowide Soybean Promotion and Research Checkoff. The program uses farmer investment at the rate of one-half of one percent of the selling price to fund marketing and research projects that will make their industry more profitable.
 Though in its infancy, the program has already made 19 research grants to discover new uses for soybeans, allocated 17 grants for research to reduce production costs and improve the soybean and made possible the opening of a technical service and promotion office in Moscow to help soybean farmers "get a foot in the door" in the huge potential market of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
 Utz urges farmers everywhere to use National Agriculture day to speak up to local merchants and neighbors regarding the value of U.S. agriculture and the soybean industry. "Farmers shouldn't be shy about speaking out on the value of agriculture to the economy," said Utz. And we should all be proud of our own investment through the nationwide soybean checkoff program, to building an even larger and more profitable market for U.S. soybeans and soybean products.
 -0- 3/16/92
 /CONTACT: Keith Stimpert of the Ohio Soybean Council, 614-249-2492/ CO: Ohio Soybean Council ST: Ohio IN: SU:


LC -- CL020 -- 8461 03/16/92 16:29 EST
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Date:Mar 16, 1992
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