Soybeans take event’s center stage

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Kylie Townsend/contributing photographer

Murray State’s Hutson School of Agriculture and the Kentucky Soybean Board hosted the eighth Annual Soybean Promotion Day Tuesday.

Faculty, staff, student and community members attended the event held in the CFSB Center’s Murray Room.
Also in attendance were Mayor Bill Wells, Davey Stevens, a Kentucky Soybean Association Representative, and Dennis Clark, member of the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board.
Among the seminars and discussions, two featured speakers were highlighted.
Kip Cullers, a world-record soybean producer, farms in Purdy, Mo., growing corn, soybeans, green beans and winter spinach. He also contracts for poultry production. Cullers grows on nearly 4,600 acres and manages an additional 6,000 corn acres for a New Zealand dairy operation. He has won first and second place from the National Corn Growers Association and has set the world record for the amount of bushels of soybeans grown per acre three times.
Damian Mason graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agricultural economics. He is known as a professional speaker, entertainer and author.
He serves as  president of Green Horizons Incorporated, a domestic services company.
The event started with an introduction by Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture.
Brannon said more than 300 people came to this event.
“This is the biggest turnout we’ve ever had and that’s great because we need to take a stand for agriculture,” Brannon said. “It’s our state’s No. 1 industry and it’s important to our region and this University.”
After he gave thanks to the contributors he introduced Cullers.
Cullers spent the majority of his session teaching the ways by which he grows crops, products he uses and his exact learned methods. He told the audience there was no trick to his successes but that he was constantly experimenting with his methods.
“I’ve never learned from my successes, only my failures,” Cullers said. “I won the first soybean award completely by accident.”
After Cullers’ session, Brannon and Rhea Ann Wright, academic services coordinator at the Hutson School of Agriculture, held a raffle. Several types and quantities of seed were given away.
Following the raffle, Murray State Catering provided an informal dinner consisting of barbecue beef brisket and pork tenderloin.
Mason told jokes and described his prevalence in the farming community.
He was raised on a dairy farm and was the youngest of nine children and said, because of that, he knows a lot about agriculture.
“I have farm roots, which is why I was asked to come and speak at this Soybean Promotion Day,” Mason said.
Among the many agriculture students attending was Amie Buckman, senior from Union County, Ky., who said the event was wonderful because it gives farmers the chance to get together and better the face of agriculture’s changing modern roles.
Jeremiah Johnson, Student Government Association president and senior from Hopkinsville, Ky., said opportunities like Soybean Promotion Day happen all the time.
“This event helps with academic outreach and allows students to get an experience of what really happens out there so we can stay cutting-edge,” Johnson said.
Contact Wilcox