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The Soybean Innovation Lab Welcomes Annie Dee as a New Advisory Board Member

Annie Dee is the President of Dee River Ranch, a family owned and operated 10,000-acre multi-crop farm operation located near Aliceville in Pickens County, Alabama. Dee is a leader and innovator in conservation practices and environmental protection in Alabama. She is the recipient of numerous awards including USDA’s National Excellence in Conservation Award and the Alabama Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award for Soil Conservationist of the Year.

Annie Dee joins an Advisory Board rich with experience in international agriculture development. The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) Advisory Board is comprised of ten members representing diverse and unique backgrounds with experience in international agricultural development, humanitarian work, higher education, agricultural research and institutional capacity building. 

“We are fortunate to be able to draw on the Advisory Board’s rich experience in international development – humanitarian, government, and private sector – to provide insight, guidance, and expertise to the United States and African researchers involved in the program,” said Dr. Peter Goldsmith, the Principal Investigator for the Soybean Innovation Lab.

Annie Dee fills a pivotal role connecting the U.S. Farmer to the Soybean Innovation Lab’s international development community. Dee knows there’s a key partnership opportunity for U.S. farmers who see soybean as a driver for rural economies and part of the solution for global poverty, greater food security and economic stability.

Annie Dee participates in Harvesting the Potential, a Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) program designed to promote conservation, no till and cover crops. Dee also serves as a Soil Health Champion with the Natural Resource Conservation Service for the Alabama National Association of conservation districts. She is an ambassador to the HGBF program, a member of the Invest an Acre program and serves on the United Soybean Board (USB). An intensive leadership course sponsored by USB has helped her to readily share and communicate about agriculture at every opportunity that arises. She will leverage these communication and advocacy platforms to further the message, impact and reach of SIL’s international agricultural development objectives to build profitable, resilient and food secure smallholder farming communities worldwide. 

Dee will be a welcomed addition to an already robust team of board members which includes:

Dr. Ken Dashiell, Deputy Director General for Partnerships for Delivery at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture

Dr. Brady Deaton, Former Chancellor at the University of Missouri and Chairman of the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development

Dr. Robert Easter, President Emeritus of the University of Illinois, and Chairman of the Food and Agriculture Road Map of Illinois (FARM Illinois)

Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director General of Operations for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University

Dr. Earl Kellogg Senior Fellow at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and Director of the African-U.S. Higher Education Initiative

Dr. Marc Linit, Associate Dean for Research and Extension at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri

Paul Rose, Owner and Operator of the Sossi Company in Kenya

Dr. Abdulai Salifu, former Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana

The Soybean Innovation Lab is the United States Agency for International Development’s only comprehensive program dedicated to soybean research for development. SIL is building a foundation for soybean production in Africa by developing the knowledge, innovation, and technologies to enable successful soybean production. As part of the Feed the Future initiative, the Soybean Innovation Lab works to reduce global poverty and hunger by accelerating growth in the agriculture sector through improvements in agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers. For more about the Soybean Innovation Lab contact soybeaninnovationlab@illinois.edu.