Improving Soy Through Seed Innovation

The soybean is a protein powerhouse, essential for nourishing and energizing our planet today and tomorrow. However, for decades, the soy commodity system has prioritized quantity over quality, resulting in more calories but less nutrition. At Benson Hill, we believe that better feed, food, and fuel start with better seeds.

Soybean meal is a crucial component of our agri-food system, providing essential protein and nutrients in animal diets. Yet, animal agriculture significantly impacts our climate, contributing to 12% of human-caused global carbon dioxide emissions, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Despite this, global demand for animal protein continues to rise, with more than 90% of U.S.-grown soybeans used in animal feed applications. To address these challenges, we must improve the sustainability of soy production. This is where seed innovation plays a crucial role. Benson Hill’s proprietary Ultra-High Protein varieties already outperform commodity soy today, delivering up to 20% higher protein content and lower anti-nutrients. This leads to improved efficiency and sustainability benefits throughout the food value chain.

Animal feed markets represent some of the world’s largest but least differentiated markets in soy protein. Our ability to differentiate our seed innovations for feed provides significant value creation opportunities, both now and in the future as we optimize protein and yield. Higher oil content and the potential for better fuel are also in our innovation pipeline, opening further market opportunities. Our advanced plant breeding platform, powered by our CropOS® technology platform and Crop Accelerator facility, ultimately positions Benson Hill to deliver soy quality traits for specific end uses, including feed, food and the emerging biofuels market.

Benson Hill has designed a system to provide both a choice and a voice to the end user. Future seed decisions can be driven not simply by what input traits the farmer prefers, but by what output traits the end user demands. This unlocks a new dimension of growth for those who are positioned to be part of it.


Benson Hill is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) to further our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The alignment of Benson Hill’s strategic business goals with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is part of our commitment to seed innovation. The SDGs represent an urgent call to action through global partnership to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth, all while tackling climate change and preserving our oceans and forests. Through ongoing action in support of the SDGs, Benson Hill strives to be a part of this important work.

SOYBEANS: Quantity and Quality

At Benson Hill, our focus on seed innovation has led to more nutrient-dense, higher-protein soybeans. For example, our Ultra-High Protein, Low-Oligosaccharide (UHP-LO) soybeans provide more protein per acre, which results in less pressure on the land, less pressure on water, and lower carbon intensity per unit of protein. UHP represents the benefits of seed innovation, demonstrating improved resource use efficiency over commodity beans.

It’s not just protein that Benson Hill is continuously working to improve, but also other quality traits such as oil content, amino acids and biofuel profiles. This increased productivity across multiple soy quality traits is needed as we strive for the 1.5° C goal – we cannot sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity, especially as we innovate. In the years to come, we expect that our soybean protein per acre will continue to increase, a significant improvement to overall quality than yields alone. In turn, more protein per acre can deliver ESG and nutritional benefits to end markets such as animal feed, aquaculture and human food applications, contributing to overall nutrition security.


We do our best when we are at our best. The health, well-being and treatment of our employees, partners, farmers and customers is fundamental to achieving our mission to lead the pace of innovation in soy quality traits with AI-driven seed advancements, proprietary genetics, and rapid prototyping.

Today, the success of a business is measured not just on its ability to be profitable, but on its impact and value to society.

Our 160,000 square foot headquarters was designed with our culture of collaboration and well-being in mind. From gender neutral restrooms to open air meeting spaces, healthy food mini-marts and a hospital-grade air filtration system, we are working to make sure our physical facilities support employee wellness and contribute to our sustainability objectives. 

Our goal is a workplace that’s not just productive but fun; one where everyone enjoys each other’s company, respects each other’s capabilities and genuinely looks forward to being together as a team.

Benson Hill is committed to a culture of diversity, equality and inclusion. We believe to do so is not only a fundamental human responsibility but contributes directly to the quality and speed of innovation and the business impact we drive across the food system.

As a company, we have three simple but fundamental values:

Be Bold!

We redefine boundaries by providing new solutions to difficult problems. Together we are driven to transform the future and will not allow the fear of failure to prevent us from innovating. We voice our opinions, embrace change and challenge each other to think creatively, work effectively, and manage risk appropriately.

Be Inspired!

We have purpose in our work—we are curious, engaged and have fun. We maintain an active growth mindset and are motivated by diverse people and thoughts. We are energized by all innovators and together we aim to make an impact and contribute to building a better world.

Be Real!

We are a performance driven organization, and hold each other accountable to delivery results through timely, candid and well-intentioned feedback. We prioritize trust and integrity in all of our activities, both internally and with our customers. Together we engage in honest communication and healthy debate that leads to success through true alignment.

Through our internal communication channels and programs, we empower our employees to shape their own careers with a range of resources and tools to explore further education, engage in critical conversations and establish a community-based culture that maintains a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination of any kind.

People and community are fundamental to Nourishing Innovation.

Our values aren’t words on a wall but a compass for our culture.

Be Bold. Be Inspired. Be Real. These three simple sentences embody who we are and serve as a rallying cry for every member of our team. For these values to be our true north, it’s important we live them in a way that’s clearly defined, consistent and observable.

We are building out clear policies and standards to do just that. Everyone at Benson Hill is expected to model these values as we engage with colleagues, our partners, our community and our planet.

We’re working to create an environment and culture where employees not only live our values in their work but in their lives. One where they are vigilant in identifying potential concerns and feel confident and comfortable speaking up and advocating for better.

Our focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) makes the Benson Hill team stronger. It helps attract, retain and engage the best people and better select the right suppliers and the right business partners. It protects our people, our assets, our reputation and our relationships with stakeholders. It supports collaborative working conditions, both internally and with our partners. And ultimately it helps us grow sustainably and deliver on our strategy.

We are committed to the highest standards for food safety and quality across our business. Our Food Safety and Quality Commitment expresses our focus and highlights the approach we take to ensure we provide products that meet our customer needs.

Our Environmental Policy highlights our commitment to safeguarding natural resources and protecting the environment as part of our daily operations. We are also working to make it easier for people to make sustainable choices. And we look forward to working with governments, businesses and other partners to meet ambitious goals in advancing sustainability within our food system.

We believe the use of technology is critical to creating a more nutritious and sustainable food system. Benson Hill leverages technology in a responsible and transparent manner to accelerate the breeding process and grow food ingredients and products for our customers and the community. Our Emerging Technologies Policy outlines our approach to the responsible use of technology.

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