The history of the soybean in the United States started with its introduction into Savannah in 1765. Hosting the WSRC in Savannah coincides closely with the 250th anniversary of the introduction of the soybean into its new home, and will be the theme of the overall meeting.
Thanks to the investigative work and reporting of Dr. Theodore Hymowitz, emeritus professor, University of Illinois, we now know that Mr. Samuel Bowen brought soybean seeds that he had collected in China to Savannah, Georgia in 1765. Mr. Bowen arranged with his friend, Mr. Henry Yonge of Savannah, Georgia, to grow this first North American soybean crop on Yonge’ s plantation near Savannah. From these seminal events in North American soybean production, the crop has grown to achieve the status as the world’s major source of vegetable protein and second largest source of vegetable oil.
Hosting the WSRC in Savannah provides an opportunity to invite the world’s soybean research community to Bowen and Yonge’s home city, where participants will share new research developments and forge the same synergistic relationships shown by these two soybean pioneers. Accordingly, the world soybean research community is invited to join in celebrating the upcoming 250th anniversary of Bowen and Yonge’s gift to North America and soybean’s impact on global development.