Soybean industry leaders unveiled a historical marker Jan. 9 recognizing that the first soybean crop grown in North America was planted on Skidaway Island in 1765. Participating in the unveiling ceremony were: (from left) American Soybean Association President Richard Wilkins, of Greenwood, Del.; Georgia/Florida Soybean Association President Walter Godwin, of Pelham, Ga.; Georgia Historical Society Historical Marker Program Coordinator Elyse Butler of Savannah and Georgia Soybean Commodity Commission Chairman Greg Mims of Donalsonville, Ga.
On Jan. 9 the Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia/Florida Soybean Association and the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Soybeans erected a marker on Skidaway Island near Savannah commemorating the introduction of soybeans to North America.
Soybeans were brought to the Georgia colony from China by Samuel Bowen in 1764. The first North American soybean crop was planted in the spring of 1765 at Orangedale Plantation on Skidaway Island, land owned by then-Georgia Surveyor General Henry Yonge. The Orangedale land is now a part of UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. The marker is on McWhorter drive approximately one mile from the institute.