Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Soybean Marker Set Up

Posted by romeethredge on January 28, 2016


Soybean industry leaders unveiled a historical marker Jan. 9 recognizing that the first soybean crop grown in North America was planted on Skidaway Island in 1765. Participating in the unveiling ceremony were: (from left) American Soybean Association President Richard Wilkins, of Greenwood, Del.; Georgia/Florida Soybean Association President Walter Godwin, of Pelham, Ga.; Georgia Historical Society Historical Marker Program Coordinator Elyse Butler of Savannah and Georgia Soybean Commodity Commission Chairman Greg Mims of Donalsonville, Ga.

On Jan. 9 the Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association and the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Soybeans erected a marker on Skidaway Island near Savannah commemorating the introduction of soybeans to North America.

Soybeans were brought to the Georgia colony from China by Samuel Bowen in 1764. The first North American soybean crop was planted in the spring of 1765 at Orangedale Plantation on Skidaway Island, land owned by then-Georgia Surveyor General Henry Yonge. The Orangedale land is now a part of UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. The marker is on McWhorter drive approximately one mile from the institute.

Bowen later received a patent for the production of soy sauce for exportation to England. Soybeans were not widely cultivated in North America until the late 1800s, but since the 1940s have become one of the most widely grown and lucrative cash crops in the U.S. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Georgia growers produced 13.5 million bushels of soybeans in 2015.

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