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Maryland Soybean Board

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Maryland Soybean Board Promotes Agriculture Education with Glycine Max© Booklets

The Maryland Soybean Board has produced 30,000 copies of this new educational booklet to build awareness around agriculture education through the life of a soybean. The booklet is available to Md. educators free of charge and includes information about the history of the soybean, how and where it grows, how it’s utilized and what foods and products include soybeans.

Easton, MD, February 10, 2010 --( He prefers that you call him Max, short for the soybean’s scientific name Glycine Max. The cute, animated bean of a boy is the star of a 12-page educational and activity booklet recently published by the Maryland Soybean Board, and he hopes to teach Maryland’s elementary-aged students a few things about the important role soybeans play in our lives.

With a goal to build awareness through agriculture education around the life of a soybean, the Maryland Soybean Board has produced 30,000 copies of this new booklet, titled Just the beginning-The life of a young sprout. The booklets, which are geared to fourth through sixth grade students, are currently available free of charge and upon request to educators throughout Maryland. Since September 1, 2009, more than 15,000 booklets have been supplied to 12 agencies and organizations across the state.

Marketing efforts promoting the booklet are targeted to agricultural education organizations, including the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) and various Maryland Extension county offices that have programs appealing to Maryland’s fourth through sixth graders. A direct mail campaign was launched to 4-H educators in each county’s Maryland Extension office in October, 2009.

MAEF educators are including the booklet in three Mobile Science Labs that reach students throughout the state. MAEF is using the booklet in its city/urban outreach programs to teach inner city children about the many uses of soybeans as well. For many years, several of MAEF’s Mobile Science Labs have introduced students to the many ways soybeans are present in everyday lives. Students have experimented with soy based and petroleum based crayons, made lip balm from soybean oil and beeswax, planted soybeans in plaster of Paris and made glue from isolated soy protein. The Maryland Soybean Board’s booklet is being shared with any students that conduct one of the experiments on the Mobile Lab using soybeans. Jeanne Mueller, MAEF’s director of elementary education, is encouraged by early responses to the booklet. “Hopefully, Glycine Max will not only further educate the students regarding the versatility of the soybean, but also their parents.”

The engaging and informational booklet is published with funds provided by the national soybean checkoff program. Agri-Media Services and Laser Letters, Inc., both of Easton, Maryland, collaborated on the project. The Glycine Max© character and the booklet were created by the design team at Laser Letters. The booklet includes information about the history of the soybean, how and where it grows, how it’s utilized and what foods and products include soybeans. Readers keep engaged with activities that include a crossword puzzle, word search, coloring page and a “Shake-It-Up” soy ice cream recipe. “Glycine Max has a powerful story to tell,” said Bruce Hotchkiss of Agri-Media Services. “He plants the seed in children’s minds of the importance of soybeans in our lives, and the value they hold to each of us as consumers.”

A limited supply of booklets are still available free of charge to Maryland educators working with fourth through sixth grade students. For more information, contact Tracey Munson at 410-924-7265 or email

Contact Information
Maryland Soybean Board
Tracey Munson

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