The headquarters for the Kentucky Soybean Board and the Kentucky Soybean Association is located at 1000 U.S. Hwy 62 West in Princeton, Kentucky. It is important to note that neither the Promotion Board nor the Association are government entities, therefore, no tax dollars were used in the construction of this facility.
With success comes growth, and with growth comes a new set of needs. The Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board (KSPB) has experienced a great deal of success and growth since moving to Princeton in 1993, and the farmer-leaders who have been entrusted with oversight of the board’s efforts decided in 2017 to build a new facility to better serve the soybean farmers in our state.
The Kentucky Soybean Association is also housed in the office, and the KSA board has expanded several times since ’93 in order to provide more representation to farmers. The Promotion Board and Association host numerous meetings and producer education sessions, and the classroom area of the new building enables these organizations to host these meetings in their own facility. Board meetings, which often include presentations of research proposals and findings, had been held elsewhere prior to construction because the old facility was simply not adequate to hold board members, presenters, and guests.
The facility opened in 2019, and it has proven to be useful not only for Kentucky’s soybean farmers but for other agriculture groups. “We are happy to share our resources with other ag groups at no charge,” said Executive Director Debbie Ellis. “We’ve had meetings here for 4-H, Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom, the UK Extension service, and many more.”
Perhaps the group that has benefited most from this facility, aside from the soybean farmers who own it, is the staff of the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center. Several UK personnel accepted the open invitation to utilize our facility during the construction of the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, and even more have called this building home in the aftermath of the F4 tornado that destroyed their campus in December of 2021.
The building is more than 9,000 square feet and includes five offices, which allows for growth, a spacious storage area, an attached garage for the organization’s vehicles, a conference room, workroom, and break room/kitchenette. That’s on the east side. The west side of the building is a large meeting room that will hold 100 people classroom style, along with a modern kitchen for meal preparation/service and visitor restrooms. The two sides are joined by a lobby and reception area.
“We had absolutely outgrown our old boardroom,” said promotion board member Ryan Bivens. “I’m sure it was a great place for meetings when the board was smaller, but in the years that I’ve been around, we were crammed in there pretty tight. The Association added four more board seats a few years ago to have more representation from the eastern part of the state, and we had simply outgrown the old facility.”
“It’s a nice facility,” he said. “And it gives us room to grow in the future. I believe it’s something that all Kentucky soybean farmers can be proud of for a very long time, and I hope that each one passes through those doors at least once to benefit from some of the educational classes we’re offering there.”
Princeton remains an ideal location for the office, as it is in the center of the state’s soybean production. In addition, Princeton is home to the University of Kentucky’s Grain and Forage Center of Excellence.
“I think the promotion board has done a good job of investing for the future in a number of ways,” Bivens said, “We didn’t cut back on our investments in research and programs to complete the building project, and we didn’t go into debt. This building is just another tool that was needed to serve Kentucky’s farmers.”
The building is true to its agricultural roots, with photos of soybean production from LaCenter to Winchester prominently featured. The large lobby mural is a collage of production and usage photos, and the builders were tasked with using as much soy as possible in the construction. Executive Director Debbie Ellis believes they achieved that goal.
“We promote the many uses of soy to others,” Ellis said, “so it was natural for us to use soy in our own building.” She noted that the lavatory sinks feature soy composite and that the flooring throughout the facility contains soy-based backing. The paint contains soy polymers, and even some of the cushions in the furnishings boast soy foam.
If you are a representative of a Kentucky Agriculture group and would like to inquire about meeting space availability, please email email@example.com.