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Soy Briefs

Article cover photo
The World Food Prize convened in Des Moines this week. Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds (left) leads a soy-focused panel discussion during the Borlaug Dialogue, a World Food Prize event. (Photo: Aaron Putze/Iowa Soybean Association)

Soy experts discuss the power of protein during the World Food Prize
America’s soybean farmers emphasized the key role they play in providing protein to a hungry planet during this week’s World Food Prize events.

“U.S. soybean farmers understand that feeding the world falls primarily on their shoulders,” said United Soybean Board CEO Polly Ruhland during a panel discussion focused on soy and facilitated by Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds. “That’s because the basis of a quality diet is protein.”

This “protein-first” approach is an ideal way to efficiently feed and nourish a world population that’s growing in numbers and affluence.

“When we feed the world most efficiently, we do so with high-density food,” Ruhland said. “Societies start with a certain level of protein such as soybeans, they then transition toward additional sources as their incomes rise, including pork, beef, poultry and dairy. These are markets for soybeans, too.”

Fellow panelist and American Soybean Association Chairman John Heisdorffer said he awakens each day wanting to be part of the food security solution.

“Peace is achieved through agriculture and access to food,” he said while taking a break from harvesting his 48th crop near Keota in southeast Iowa. “I’ve traveled to countries and observed soy protein fed to school children. It was the most significant nourishment of the day. It gives me pride to produce something in Iowa that’s used throughout the world.”

The December edition of Iowa Soybean Review will examine the goal of the soybean industry’s “protein first” approach and the opportunity for animal- and plant-based protein to collaboratively nourish a growing population. Watch the Borlaug Dialogues and other World Food Prize events at the link above.

Cedar Rapids biofuels panel shares merits of biodiesel
In the third annual Iowa Ideas Conference hosted by the Cedar Rapids Gazette, three biodiesel industry leaders spoke to a diverse audience on the benefits of the homegrown fuel.

The panel consisted of Grant Kimberley, director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB); Tom Brooks, general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel and Dave Walton, a soybean farmer near Wilton and director on both the ISA and IBB boards.

One panelist summed up the biodiesel industry’s struggle with federal policy by comparing it to Charlie Brown’s attempt to kick the football, only to have Lucy continuously move it.

Northern Iowa soybean farmer hosts Governor Reynolds to talk trade, biodiesel
For this soybean farmer’s 20th harvest, a new visitor was welcomed to his farm.

Iowa Soybean Association At-Large Director Brent Renner hosted Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds aboard his combine near Klemme on Tuesday.

“It was an honor and a privilege first and foremost to have the governor visit our farm. It was nice to have a captive audience while she rode with me in the combine,” Renner said. “She was fascinated by the technology in the combine cab as we all are the first time we see it.”

But the governor’s visit was much more than a social one. They discussed policy priorities she is working on to assist soybean farmers during trying times.

American Soybean Association Seeks Candidates for Soy Scholarship
The Soy Scholarship is a $5,000 one-time scholarship award presented to a current, eligible high school senior planning to pursue a degree in agriculture at an accredited college or university. The scholarship is managed by the American Soybean Association (ASA) and is made possible through a grant by BASF Corporation.

“Educating our next generation is key to the future of agriculture. BASF is proud to partner with ASA to award scholarships to students who want to pursue a career in agriculture and aspire to drive our industry forward,” said Scott Kay, vice president of U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions.

The scholarship is awarded in $2,500 increments (one per semester) for the upcoming school year. The student must maintain successful academic progress and be in good standing with the college or university to receive the full amount of the scholarship.

High school seniors may apply online in fall of each year. Final selection will be made in January. The student will be notified late-January, with an official announcement to follow.

Applicants must fill out an online application during the open application period. The 2020-21 Scholarship application period will run from October 8 to December 1, 2019.

Good Farm Neighbor Award nominations open
The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right and go above and beyond as environmental stewards and animal caretakers. It is an opportunity to tell the story of responsible livestock farming in Iowa, and highlight the families who make it so successful.

Nominees must meet four criteria:

  1. Family operation
  2. Active in their community
  3. Producer livestock or poultry to the highest animal care standards
  4. Dedicated to conservation and/or environmental stewardship on their land

Click the link above to nominate a deserving farmer or farm family by Nov. 15.

WTO formally backs US tariffs on EU goods
The United States is preparing to hit billions of dollars of European Union products with tariffs — including a lot of dairy and other ag commodities — at one minute after midnight, reports Agri-Pulse. President Donald Trump says if the Europeans hit back, it will be a tariff war he’s confident the United States will win.

During a Wednesday press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Trump told reporters the United States “cannot lose a war of tariffs because the imbalance is so great between the United States and, in this case, the European Union.”

The United States earlier this month won the right to the retaliatory tariffs in a WTO fight over EU subsidies for Airbus. The EU expects to win similar rights to hit the United States with tariffs thanks to a separate WTO victory on U.S. subsidies for Boeing. There’s still time to avoid the tariffs, both presidents said.

“We’re talking with some new people in Europe, and I hope it’s going to be successful,” Trump said.

Trade mission aims to increase exports to Vietnam, nearby countries
USDA Trade Undersecretary Ted McKinney is headed to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam this week on a trade mission with nearly 80 industry and government representatives — including the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Their goal: expand agricultural exports to one of the fastest-growing regions of the world, including Thailand and Burma (Myanmar).

“The size of this trade mission delegation speaks to the phenomenal potential that exists for U.S. exporters in Vietnam and surrounding countries,” McKinney said. “Since the United States normalized relations with Vietnam in 1995, our agricultural exports have grown exponentially, reaching a record $4 billion last year. Sales of U.S. food and farm products to Thailand and Burma also set records in 2018, topping $2.1 billion and $126 million, respectively.” 

The Iowa Soybean Association also recently spent time building demand for U.S. soy in Myanmar.

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.