Benson Hill, Saint Louis Science Center Extend STEM Partnership Donate Soybeans

An agricultural technology company specializing in unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants has announced the continuation of its partnership with the Saint Louis Science Center for the second consecutive year. Benson Hill will be donating its innovative Ultra-High Protein, Low-Oligosaccharide (UHP-LO) soybeans to support STEM education efforts within the St. Louis community.

The collaboration between the Science Center and Benson Hill began in 2023, featuring the company’s proprietary soybeans in the museum’s GROW Gallery. This outdoor exhibit space enables visitors to delve into the forefront of agricultural science. Through the exhibit, visitors gain insights into advancements in plant breeding, particularly in soybeans, which exhibit traits such as heightened protein content. This educational initiative highlights the significance of such traits for resource management and nutrition.

Clara Hagedorn, an associate manager with Benson Hill, expressed her excitement, stating, “My time as one of GROW’s first interns sparked a passion for education in agriculture, and this opportunity to again highlight Benson Hill’s proprietary soybeans in GROW is a great full-circle moment.” She emphasized the importance of showcasing locally grown soybean varieties to educate visitors, offering them a deeper understanding of this versatile crop.

Conventional commodity soybeans typically possess protein levels of approximately 50% post-processing. In contrast, Benson Hill’s UHP-LO soybeans exhibit post-crush protein levels ranging from 60 to 65%, coupled with reduced indigestible sugars, thereby supporting animal digestive health and overall performance. This genetic breakthrough enhances the nutritional density of feed applications, where the majority of soybeans are utilized. Future advancements aim to further reduce the dependency on synthetic amino acids and enhance energy density, making soy an even more optimal feedstock.

Maddie Earnest, associate director of galleries at the Saint Louis Science Center, highlighted the significance of Benson Hill’s continued donation of differentiated soybeans, stating, “Our collaboration aligns well with our mission to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and it’s bringing what people see along highways in Illinois and Missouri into the immersive experience of the GROW exhibit.”

The Benson Hill UHP-LO soybeans are scheduled to be planted in May and harvested in early fall. Visitors to the Science Center can observe these soybeans in the plots surrounding the Case IH combine in the GROW gallery.

Benson Hill collaborates with Midwest soybean farmers to cultivate the company’s proprietary soybean varieties, prioritizing protein production, regenerative agriculture practices, and sustainability benefits throughout the entire value chain. For further information regarding Benson Hill soybeans grown in the St. Louis region, interested parties are encouraged to seek additional resources.

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