CONTACT: Erin Davis or Laura Smith at Osborn Barr, 888-235-4332.  For a digital version of this news release, see the “Media Center” section of the USB website at


United Soybean Board Introduces

Journalism Students to Biotechnology


Phoenix (June 17, 2014) – Journalism students from Arizona State University, Purdue University, and The College of New Jersey were recently declared winners in the 2014 Biotech University contest.


The contest was part of the Biotech University seminar held on Friday, March 28, a one-day event designed to introduce journalism students to the emerging science of biotechnology. Ten students from the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication were in attendance, as well as 31 students from other schools across the country. The event was sponsored by the United Soybean Board (USB) and co-sponsored by the ASU Biodesign Institute and Arizona Farm Bureau.


 At the seminar, experts on biotechnology explained the science, debated pros and cons, gave hands-on demonstrations, and discussed the scientific, business and political issues surrounding the topic. “I was impressed with the seminar participants and their engagement with the subject of biotechnology,” said USB Director David Williams. “I learned a lot at this unique educational experience and am proud that USB sponsored this event.”


Rachel Lund, a graduate student at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, won the grand prize in the 2014 contest, a trip to an international biotechnology conference.  Lund's winning entry was a radio report, entitled “Milk For America.” Lund will attend The International Association of Plant Biotechnology Congress conference, August 10-15, 2014, in Melbourne, Australia.


Winners of a $1,500 academic scholarship were Amanda Gee, a graduate student at Purdue University, and Danielle Leng, a junior at The College of New Jersey. Gee filed a multimedia report entitled, “A Glimpse into Biotechnology.”

Leng submitted “Biotechnology and Journalism,” a multimedia report.


The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.



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Biotech University grand prize winner Rachel Lund will travel to a conference in Melbourne this summer.

Amanda Gee, left, and Danielle Leng, right, won scholarships in the Biotech University contest.