July 27, 2000 | By: Lenora Batchelor

Soybeans are said to be the most versatile bean grown in the world. Soybean oil is found in everything from margarine and coffee creamer to cosmetics and paints, and soybean meal is an essential component in most livestock diets. Soy protein derived from the bean is cholesterol free and contains all the essential amino acids we need to stay healthy. It's this multi-purpose nature of the soybean that's causing quite a stir in the scientific world; researchers from all over the globe are fascinated by what the future may hold for these small legumes.

Those very same scientists are soon coming to the Commonwealth. The University of Kentucky will host Soy2000, the eighth Biennial Conference of the Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Soybean. The three day conference begins on August 13 and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Lexington. Soy2000 is attracting over 200 guests, representing over 25 universities and 15 countries.

"We are thrilled to host such an exciting conference here in Lexington," says Glenn Collins, agronomy professor in the College of Agriculture and conference organizer. The University of Kentucky was fortunate to have many sponsors aid in the support of Soy2000, including Dupont/Pioneer, Monsanto, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner's Office and the Kentucky Soybean Board. Local city officials and many UK faculty and staff have also been generous with their time and energy in hosting the event. United Agri Products and the Barnhart Fund for Excellence are making it possible for Sano Shimoda, president of Bioscience-Securities, Inc. and well known soybean research scientist, to give the conference keynote address. Titled, "If You Think You Have Seen Changes In Agriculture, You Haven't Seen Anything Yet!," the address will offer guests a glimpse into the future of soybeans in the agriculture industry.

Soy2000 attendees will present papers dealings with many areas of study, including soybean diets and nutrition, recent soybean advances, metabolic engineering and value added traits. Curtis Meurer, College of Agriculture post doctorate student and Local Arrangements Committee chair for Soy2000, says an excellent program is lined up for the conference. "We will have paper presentations from all over the world and posters showcasing lab work from companies and universities working hard in soybean research. The lineup offers a lot for every guest," he says.

David Hildebrand and Todd Pfeiffer of the UK College of Agriculture, program co-chairs for the three day event, have helped plan a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park for conference guests, as well as a private viewing of The Horse in Chinese Art exhibit. The last night of the conference offers bluegrass music and a delicious, Kentucky-style dinner.

For online registration and more information on Soy2000, you may visit the conference web site at www.ca.uky.edu/soy2000/. There will also be onsite registration on August 13 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.


Dr. Glenn Collins 859-257-5333; Curtis Meurer 859-257-2449