THE BEAN

Facts, stories and information about the small bean with a big impact.

ABOUT SOYBEANS

Facts & Resources on All Things Soybeans

USE OF BIODIESEL, A RENEWABLE FUEL FREQUENTLY MADE WITH SOYBEAN OIL, CAN REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT BY AT LEAST 50%.

58% OF ILLINOIS SOYBEAN ACRES ARE FARMED WITH SOME FORM OF CONSERVATION TILLAGE, WHICH LEAVES STALKS AND PLANT MATTER FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR’S HARVEST ON THE GROUND TO PREVENT SOIL EROSION AND PROTECT WATER QUALITY.

TO PROTECT CROPS, THE AMOUNT OF CHEMICAL A SOYBEAN FARMER NEEDS TO SPRAY OVER AN ACRE – OR THE AREA OF A FOOTBALL FIELD – IS ABOUT AS MUCH AS A CAN OF SODA. THE REST IS WATER.

PIGS CONSUME THE MOST ILLINOIS SOYBEANS. SOYBEANS CONTAIN ALL EIGHT ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS, CREATING PROTEIN-PACKED SOYBEAN MEAL THAT PIGS LOVE.

SMALL ILLINOIS BEAN
BIG CHICAGO IMPACT

All Resources

SOY SOURCES

Find more information, educational tools and activities about soybeans, food and farming.

  • Stories From the Field
    Soy lattes spark sustainability conversations
    Soybean farmers, legislators and ISA leaders gathered at the Illinois State Capitol to discuss how soybeans are sustainably grown. While enjoying soy lattes, attendees discussed agricultural advancements like this: Since 1980, soybean farmers have reduced water (-32 percent) and energy (-35 percent) usage as well as greenhouse gas emissions (-38 percent) in an effort to improve resource efficiency.
    Soy lattes spark sustainability conversations
  • Stories From the Field
    Chicagoans, farmers come together to restore wetland
    Along with help from Audubon Great Lakes, The Wetlands Initiative and Chicago Park District, ISA worked with soybean farmers and urban conservationists to plant more than 4,000 native seedlings at Indian Ridge Marsh in the Calumet region of Chicago. This area was once one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America but industrialization broke down the wetlands. The unique rural-urban coalition educated the community about environmental stewardship and the role it plays in modern agriculture.
    Chicagoans, farmers come together to restore wetland
  • Stories From the Field
    From pod to plate
    Whether it’s food, fuel or furniture, soybeans can be found anywhere you look. Follow along as soybean seeds evolve from pod to plate. Learn about the equipment, technology and science that goes into growing such a versatile crop.
  • Stories From the Field
    B20 Club member uses soybean oil to reduce environmental impact
    The Chicago Parks District (CPD) takes recycling to a whole new level – and it starts with vegetable oil from Chicago-area restaurants. The recycled vegetable oil, made mostly from soybeans, is converted into biodiesel to fuel its vehicles. CPD is a member of the B20 club, a partnership between ISA and the American Lung Association in Illinois that promotes clean air in Illinois communities and supports Illinois farmers growing soybeans used to make biodiesel, a renewable fuel. By operating 300+ vehicles on biodiesel, CPD is significantly reducing CO2 emissions. Keep up the great work, CPD.
    B20 Club member uses soybean oil to reduce environmental impact
  • Stories From the Field
    Community collaboration provides protein
    As part of the Soy in the City initiative to show Chicagoans how soybeans impact their daily lives, ISA partnered with State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) to provide 800+ pounds of ground pork to the new Bloom Township Food Pantry. Soybean and pig farmers work together every day to produce quality food, with pigs eating 74% of the soybean meal fed in Illinois.
    Community collaboration provides protein

Meet a Soybean Farmer

  • I'm Carrie Winkelmann.
    My husband, Kyle, and I grow soybeans and corn in central Illinois while raising three children – Lydia, Grady and Arlo.
    I'm Carrie Winkelmann.
  • Our farm equipment is smarter and more tech savvy than ever.
    This helps reduce human error and increase success while we plant, grow and harvest soybeans.
    Our farm equipment is smarter and more tech savvy than ever.
  • We as farmers are continuously looking for ways to improve our soil.
    On our farm, we plant cover crops in the fall to protect the soil so it’s not lost to wind and water erosion during the winter.
    We as farmers are continuously looking for ways to improve our soil.
  • If you have vegetable oil in your cupboard, you’re likely consuming soybean oil.
    Soybeans are in a lot of foods, like mayonnaise and salad dressing, and could have grown on an Illinois farm like ours.
    If you have vegetable oil in your cupboard, you’re likely consuming soybean oil.