After a record Illinois soybean crop in 2016 producing nearly 593 million bushels, Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) board members passed a slate of new programs to drive the organization forward. The goal of the Illinois Soybean Association is the utilization of 600 million bushels of soybeans by the year 2020.
“We know Illinois soybean farmers are very good at producing soybeans, so we have to pass new and exciting programs that continue to benefit our farmers” says Daryl Cates, ISA chairman and soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill. “That means it is our job at ISA to work at a strategic level and focus on projects that continuously improve the knowledge of our farmers, but also to focus on the influencers we work with and the markets where we sell our beans.”
In the next fiscal year, which starts Sept. 1, ISA will focus more on one of its highest priorities; increasing demand for biodiesel in Illinois. Other priorities include promoting preference of Illinois soy for export markets, biodiesel and animal agriculture; helping farmers be profitable through business management, yield and sustainable production practices; building relationships through member, corporate, industry and advocacy efforts that positively impact Illinois soybean farmers; ensuring Illinois soybeans and soybean products reach their intended destination efficiently; and increasing effective, progressive leadership in the organization.
The Illinois Soybean Association is made up of the farmer-funded Illinois soybean checkoff and the membership-funded Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). The ISA board has 24 farmer-leaders who serve on either the Marketing Committee or the Production and Outreach Committee. Each committee annually evaluates projects that have been proposed, and meets in June to make funding decisions. Board members keep in mind the ultimate goal of making Illinois soybean farmers the most knowledgeable, sustainable and profitable in the global marketplace.