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April 5, 2001

Governor Ryan Proclaims April "Soy Foods Month"

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan has declared April as "Soy Foods Month" in Illinois in recognition of the $2.2 billion impact soy production has on the state.

"Illinois farmers are the world leaders in soy production, raising 460 million bushels last year," Ryan said. "And we are home to the nation's largest processor of soy foods, Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur. Soy production and soy food products are vital to the economy of this state."

Ryan also noted that soy foods have been recognized by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association as a way to reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.

"Soy foods provide an exciting and growing market for Illinois soybean growers," added Illinois Soybean Association President Brad Glenn. "More than 300 new soy food products were introduced to the market in 2000, and soy foods are expected to consume 100 million bushels of production by 2010."

According to the Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service, Illinois farmers plan to plant a record 10.7 million acres of soybeans in 2001.

"We grow enough soybeans in this state each year to fill a train of boxcars stretching from Peoria to Boston, so promoting soy foods makes sense for Illinois," said Illinois Agriculture Director Joe Hampton. "Soy foods are a vital way to add value to that crop and increase the number of food production jobs in the state."


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