ISA Newsroom

Agricultural news farmers want to know.

Iowa farmers will set policy priorities, hear from industry and government leaders at ISA Policy Conference

Article cover photo
Chad Pontier, an Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) member and farmer near Osceola, expresses his opinion on ISA's policy priorities at last year's annual Policy Conference. (Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Lauren Houska, ISA communications specialist


Industry experts, government officials and soybean leaders will convene at this year’s Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Policy Conference. 

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst will join the conference via video call to discuss policy impacting Iowa soybean farmers. United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Steve Censky and Deputy Secretary Julie Kenney, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, are also slated to address the audience on important issues. 

The Policy Conference will take place on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Ankeny Marriott Courtyard Hotel, sponsored by AGP and Bayer CropScience. Several industry and farmer leaders will be honored at the ISA Leadership Awards program — which is sponsored by ADM and Beck’s Hybrids — during the conference. 

ISA members are encouraged to attend the day-long event to gain valuable insights on ISA policy development, receive timely industry updates and network with fellow farmers. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. 

“Through the annual survey and group discovery sessions in recent weeks, our members have surfaced and prioritized issues impacting their operations,” ISA Director of Public Affairs Michael Dolch said. “Farmers have come together across the state to learn more about the issues and discuss new policy ideas.”

Each of the nine districts has identified two delegates to review and approve ISA’s legislative policy for the coming year. With a direct impact on competitiveness and profitability, Dolch stressed the importance of this grassroots process, stating, “ISA’s policy is developed by the member and for the member. The process gives producers a voice and opportunity to shape state and national policy positions.” 

Policies guide advocacy work at the state and federal levels. Areas to be discussed include: international trade, federal and state farm policy, transportation, biotechnology, conservation, livestock, research, energy, rural issues and more.

“I strongly encourage farmers to attend the conference,” ISA President Lindsay Greiner said. “This is your chance to see how ISA leaders set policy priorities and gather insights on issues that impact your livelihood.” 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions of industry experts during the Trade Perspectives and Outlook panel discussion, which includes:

  • Grant Kimberley, Director of Market Development, ISA
  • Ed Beaman, Senior Director Basic Market Development, U.S. Soybean Export Council
  • Xiaoyue Li, Director Asian Operations, INTL FCStone
  • Dermot Hayes, International Economics Professor, Iowa State University 

The awards program will highlight farmer leaders in all stages of their careers and shine the spotlight on valued partners who have supported Iowa soybean farmers. The 2019 awards will be presented in seven categories:

  • Rising Star, sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America
  • New Leader, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience
  • Environmental Leader, sponsored by Peoples Co.
  • Innovator in Production Research, sponsored by John Deere
  • Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer, sponsored by Cargill
  • Advocate for Iowa Agriculture, sponsored by Bayer CropScience
  • Legacy of Leadership, sponsored by Stine Seed 

“Improving the competitiveness of Iowa’s soybeans would not be possible without the outstanding commitment of farmers and industry professionals,” said Greiner, who received the 2012 New Leader Award. He encourages farmers to help celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s winners. 

“Nobody does what they do for the recognition. That’s why it’s up to us to find those who go above and beyond and make sure they know they are appreciated.”


Contact Lauren Houska at

For media inquiries, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at Iowa Soybean Association | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy | Ankeny | IA | 50023 | US

©2018 Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network®. All rights reserved. On-Farm Network® is a registered trademark of the Iowa Soybean Association, Ankeny, IA.Portions of some On-Farm Network trials are paid for in total or in part by the soybean checkoff.