Project SOY (Soybean Opportunities for Youth) is an annual contest that harnesses students' creative power to develop new products and marketing strategies for soybeans. Project SOY is designed to give students a chance to gain practical skills while establishing links with industry. The ultimate objective of the contest is to increase awareness and production of Ontario soybeans.
In 1996, Project SOY was introduced at the University of Guelph to help maintain the momentum of the soybean industry, raise the production and awareness of the crop and find diversified uses and markets for soybeans. This initiative was started by First Line Seeds, a Guelph-based soybean seed company, and the University of Guelph. It is now supported by DEKALB® Brand Seeds, Soy 20/20, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Grain Farmers of Ontario and the University of Guelph.
Project SOY is promoted by a student program co-ordinator. The program is targeted to agriculture, food science, crop science, engineering, veterinary, family relations and applied nutrition, hotel and food administration, consumer studies and rural extension students, and is open to those enrolled in diploma, undergraduate and graduate levels.
Contest participants must register in the contest by November – either as part of course work or as an extracurricular activity – and may use University facilities as available or appropriate over the winter semester to complete their projects for judging in March.
Students may enter individually or as a team. Each entry is guided by a participating faculty or staff mentor and is judged by industry representatives at the end of March.