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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
During the latest taping of The State of Soy, guests Cristen Clark, a farmer and popular Food & Swine blogger; Dr. Ruth MacDonald, an Iowa State University College of Human Sciences professor; and Michelle Hurd Iowa Grocery Industry Association president discuss the many ways food labels impact both farmers and consumers. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Ankeny, IA — Fact or fiction? It's difficult for consumers to know sometimes when it comes to the labels on their food. In a rush to make sales, brands and retailers are routinely shelving science and reality. The consequences for consumers, farmers and our planet are real — and expensive!

Tune in to The State of Soy next week to get the inside scoop on the wild, wild west of food labeling and what you can do to lasso increased confidence about the food you love and the people who grow it.

Catch up on previous episodes now!

Ankeny, IA — Warmer, drier weather has allowed farmers to get started with their pre-planting tillage and anhydrous application. And while much of the state has yet to plant a single seed, a favorable forecast will propel planting progress within the next week. Four Iowa Soybean Association members shared progress and challenges in their areas.

Read the story now.

Davenport, IA — Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President Lindsay Greiner of Keota with ISA District 6 Director Dave Walton of Wilton traveled to Davenport last week for an editorial board visit with the Quad City Times. They were joined by Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) Executive Director Mike Steenhoek. They met with three editorial board members and engaged with them on topics pertaining to trade, the farm economy, infrastructure and biodiesel.

Visits like these remain important in establishing and strengthening ties to publications who are vocal about agriculture. Positioning ISA as a leader on issues impacting Iowa ensures accurate information is shared. Greiner, in addition to other ISA farmer leaders, will attend additional editorial board visits with newspapers around the state later this year.

Read more about the visit.

Ankeny, IA — Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Director Morey Hill of Madrid is confirmed as a new member of the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH). Hill, along with ISA Director Tim Bardole and soybean growers from ten other states, serves on the WISHH Program Committee that guides WISHH’s trade and development work in countries located in Asia, Africa, and Central America.

Ankeny, IA — The sights, sounds and stories of Iowa agriculture are arriving at the doorstep of food and health-minded consumers courtesy of a new magazine published by the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP).

Fresh Pickings makes farm life more accessible, interesting and relevant to Iowans through engaging editorial and stunning photography.

The inaugural issue introduces readers to an Iowa egg farmer, highlights partnerships impacting monarch habitats, showcases calving season and encourages a discerning look at non-GMO food labels.

Fresh Pickings, published quarterly, is available at no cost at Iowa-based Earl May Nursery & Garden Centers and MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center locations and will be distributed at Iowa FFP events (while supplies last). Readers can also view the publication online and request a subscription at

Washington, DC — The American Soybean Association (ASA) is disappointed that the European Union has voted on a mandate to move forward with an EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement that excludes agriculture. The EU is a critically important market for food exports, including soybeans.

Soybeans exported to the EU in 2017 were valued at $1.6 billion. ASA applauded the initial decision to launch comprehensive negotiations between the United States and European Union in order to liberalize trade and investment in a variety of sectors.

“We had high hopes that some of the longstanding concerns regarding the EU’s policies on agricultural biotechnology and on revising the EU’s pesticide laws would be addressed,” said Davie Stephens, Kentucky soy grower and ASA president. “With the EU now formally excluding ag, it will be difficult if not impossible to address these non-tariff barriers that severely inhibit trade between our countries.”

ASA maintains that the EU approach to biotechnology, gene editing and pesticide regulation needs to be risk-based and consistent with international practice under the Codex Alimentarius (Codex), which is the foundation of internationally-accepted standards and guidance. The current and emerging EU regulatory approaches lack alignment with Codex, are based on hazard rather than risk–based assessments, and represent barriers to trade.

ASA urges the Administration to push back on the EU and insist that these vital agriculture issues are addressed either in the context of an FTA or through bilateral discussions.

Washington, DC — Higher limits are now available for borrowers interested in the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) farm loans, which help agricultural producers purchase farms or cover operating expenses. The 2018 Farm Bill increased the amount that producers can borrow through direct and guaranteed loans available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and made changes to other loans, such as microloans and emergency loans.

“As natural disasters, trade disruptions, and persistent pressure on commodity prices continue to impact agricultural operations, farm loans become increasingly important to farmers and ranchers,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “The 2018 Farm Bill provides increased loan limits and more flexibility to farm loans, which gives producers more access to credit when they need it most.”

Read about the key changes.

Ames, IA — More than 5,600 FFA members, advisors and guests gathered in Ames at Iowa State University (ISU) this week for the 91st Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Producer Services team and ISU Soy Squad volunteers connected with FFA members at an exhibit booth at the Career Show.

“For the students who want to return to the farm or hope to start their own, this is an opportunity to create positive connections early on and let them know we are a resource for them,” said Carrie Kelly, ISA Producer Services regional coordinator.

“For those who aren’t necessarily considering farming, it’s still a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work ISA does and let them know we are a great source of agricultural information,” Kelly continued.

Read more about ISA at the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference.

Alexandria, VA — Environmental stewardship is top-of-mind for Iowa farmers, so as they take to the field for planting, the American Seed Trade Association and National Pesticide Safety Education Center has these tips:

  • Follow directions on seed container labeling
  • Destroy weeds before planting
  • Use the right amount of an appropriate seed lubricant minimize dust
  • Watch for honey bees and hives near fields
  • Clean up and cover spilled seed with soil to protect wildlife and the environment
  • Remove treated seed left in containers and equipment

Go to for a wealth of free tips and reminders. Follow the hashtags on social media for more tips: #Plant19 #JustGrowIt #BeSure #GrowingMatters

West Des Moines, IA — Students interested in a career in agriculture have a new scholarship opportunity for the 2019-2020 school year through the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) special scholarship program in honor of the organization’s 15th anniversary.

“In celebration of serving livestock farmers for 15 years, we’re awarding 15 scholarships, each worth $250, to encourage Iowa’s young people to enter livestock farming,” says CSIF Executive Director, Brian Waddingham. “Livestock farming offers young people a way to enter the farming profession and to bring a son or daughter back to the farm. That has a domino effect for rural communities – keeping young people in rural Iowa.”

Application deadline is May 15 and can be completed online. For more information on the scholarship or CSIF programs, contact Gabby Glenister at the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, 515-225-5526 or

Des Moines, IA — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encouraged students from across Iowa to enter into the annual agriculture calendar contest. Artwork will be selected based on creativity and the ability to connect agriculture products from the farm to everyday life. Entries are reviewed by a panel of judges and 12 winners will be featured in the Choose Iowa calendar.

“This calendar gives students the opportunity to be creative while promoting the products that are grown in Iowa,” said Naig. “Agriculture greatly impacts our state and I hope each student realizes the many opportunities that exist in the ag industry.”

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship distributes the calendars at the Iowa State Fair. The winning artists will be honored by Secretary Naig at a ceremony during the fair.

Students at or under the age of 18 are invited to submit artwork. Pictures should be drawn in a horizontal orientation using only black lines on plain white, 8 ½ by 11-inch paper. The pictures should not be colored in. They can be submitted either electronically by emailing or mailed to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Coloring Calendar, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319.

Each submission should list the artist’s name, age, school, hometown, a parent’s name and contact information. Drawings must be received by June 1, 2019 to be considered.

Des Moines, IA — BASF is joining the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University as an industry partner to support emerging technology and innovations to help soybean growers produce high yielding, high quality soybeans.

“We welcome and look forward to collaborating with BASF,” said Greg Tylka, director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center and a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State.

“We appreciate BASF’s financial support. Their partnership with the center underscores their commitment to research in the area of soybean production and illustrates their understanding of the real-world challenges that Iowa soybean farmers face.”

The Iowa Soybean Research Center, a partnership between the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa State University, was created in 2014 to forge strong public-private collaborations to support Iowa soybean growers.

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.