Young Leader Program


The American Soybean Association (ASA) and Corteva Agriscience are seeking applicants for the 2021 ASA Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program.

The Young Leader Program is a two-phase educational program for actively farming individuals and couples who are passionate about the future possibilities of agriculture. The women and men who participate in this program will be the leaders who shape the future of agriculture.

Soybean grower couples and individuals are encouraged to apply for the program, which focuses on leadership and communication, the latest agricultural information, and the development of a strong peer network. Spouses, even those not employed full-time on the farm, are encouraged to attend and will be active participants in all elements of the program.

Not sure if you should apply? While we definitely think you should, don’t take our word for it — see what Iowa Soybean Association members had to say about their experiences!

Noah Fedders, 2019

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
I was interested in growing as a new farmer and being able to connect with others. We wanted to learn more about the inner-workings of the ASA. Anna was able to learn from a few of the others how to be supportive and involved as a farm wife while not working directly on the farm.

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
We have made some lasting friendships and connections with other young farmers we wouldn’t have met otherwise. The trainings helped to expand our perspective and trained us to communicate better with each other and also with the consumer. 

Chris Gaesser, 2018

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
We participated for networking, leadership and media training opportunities. 

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
We made a lot of connections with people in other states. Plus, it gives you an information network of what's going on in other areas and how things are different.

Ryan & Kristin Oberbroeckling, 2019

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
We thought it would be interesting to learn what other people in our age group are doing to become better role models in their communities. 

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
We have created lifelong friendships with others from Virginia to Tennessee and Kansas to Canada. It has benefited us to see what other farmers are doing as far as tillage practices, chemicals, biologicals, and even how they handle their bad days.This program also taught us some different approaches to leadership. 

Reed Burres, 2018

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
I was interested in participating as I felt it was a great opportunity to further my involvement through ISA and give me the chance to interact with other farmers from all across the country. 

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
My experience helped provide additional perspectives unique to growers outside of the Midwest. The program provided the tools to help me to continue to grow professionally and as a farmer. Though the program members were from all across the United States, we quickly found that there were many shared or similar views and values. We traded tips and learned about other's growing practices and how they implement management into their operation. For me, my greatest takeaway were the connections to some of the most progressive farmers in the country. 

Casey Schlichting, 2016

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
I'm always looking to further my leadership skills in the ag community, with the lineage of this program it seemed to be the best of the best and it did not disappoint!

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
Doing this program gave me the confidence to run for a position on the Iowa Soybean Association Board. Since being elected to the board, I've been offered the opportunity to see how global our soybean market is first hand. I don't know where this will lead, but I am always looking for opportunities to better myself and my operation. The actual program is one thing but the people you meet along the way are the true reward. Getting to know industry leaders and seeing they are people just like us is pretty neat. I still talk with many of the group from 2016 on a regular basis. Just like many things in life, it's not necessarily what you know but who you know.

Morey & Rhonda Hill, 2014-2015

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
Having just been elected to the ISA board, I thought this would be a great way to meet other soybean growers from around the country. Not having much contact with ISA before being elected, I felt it was a great way for me to learn more about the organization. It also helped me to understand the national organizations better and comprehend how the two work, along with all the state organizations. It also helped me become better informed on issues, and how to advocate for soybean farmers.

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
One of the many benefits I received during the program was the ability to stand up and be a voice for the soybean farmer. Anytime I do an interview or speak to an elected member of Congress, I am not only speaking for the good of my farm, but also for all the farmers. If that helps just one farmer, it helps me. Being involved has enabled me to be elected to the American Soybean Association (ASA) and also the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) committee. The training and experience from the program has enabled me to become a better advocate for the American soybean farmer. We made new friends, from all over the country, with whom we still remain in close contact. 

Dave Walton, 2003

Why were you interested in participating in the ASA Corteva Young Leader Program?
I didn't know all that much about ISA or ASA beyond the county organization at the time and wanted to learn more.  Also, I knew that I wanted to get more involved but also knew I lacked some key leadership and communication skills. Through the application process, it became clear that this was a program I wanted to get involved with.

How has it benefited you on your farm and in your future leadership?
Associating with other young leaders opened my eyes to the similarities, and differences, that could be found across the country. Through the program, and those I met in the program, I've gained a valuable network of current leaders, but just as importantly a group of friends that still keep in touch and trade ideas about growing soybeans. The program has given me the skills and confidence to go from a local leader to one that now is able to impact policy and decisions at the national level through involvement at the American Soybean Association and the National Biodiesel Board.