Soybean has proven to be a markedly productive crop in many regions of Latin America, especially the tropics. Rural economic development associated with soybean value chains has been remarkable, far outstripping traditional crops and agricultural practices. At the same time there are very serious tradeoffs involving land use changes, climate change, and biodiversity. These tradeoffs will serve as subject matter of the 4th annual International IFSI symposium (https://intlprograms.aces.illinois.edu/food-security ) to be held on campus April 3-4, 2017 in partnership with the Woods Hole Research Center (http://whrc.org/ ). Recently USAID decided to explore the potential of soybean as a development crop in Africa. The University of Illinois serves as the lead institution in a $11.2 million dollar five year USAID program to support the development of soybean in the developing world, especially Africa. This Brown Bag seminar will discuss soybean as a technology for development, given that it is a commercial, non-native, and non-staple crop. These characteristics stand directly opposed to the traditional USAID strategies focused on improving the productivity of native staple crops. The talk will delve into actual farmer practices to better understand how they grow this new crop, their level of success, and potential for sustained adoption. The talk will provide an avenue for discussion as to what makes for an appropriate crop for development, and how best to assist small farmers to emerge from poverty traps.