Ankeny, Iowa – The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) continues its commitment to soybean farmers and their industry by ringing in August as Soybean Month.
The celebration touting Iowa’s 40,000-plus soybean farmers and their commitment to sustainably producing more than 550 million bushels of soybeans annually valued at nearly $5 billion include numerous events and activities.
They include a Soybeans Are Big In Iowa Month proclamation signing by Gov. Kim Reynolds Friday, Aug. 10. ISA members and staff will also be present throughout the month at events across Iowa to meet with farmers and share the local, state and national benefits of soybean production.
“As we prepare for another harvest, August is always a great reminder to celebrate soybean production and promote how soybeans help feed and fuel a growing global population,” says ISA President Bill Shipley of Nodaway. “We celebrate soybeans year-round at the ISA, but August provides a timely opportunity to bring added attention to the industry’s contributions to Iowa, the nation and the world.”
The ISA will bring the story of soybean production to:
Iowa State Fair, Aug. 9 – 19
ISA will sponsor activities in venues throughout the fairgrounds including the Ag Building and Animal Learning Center.
Soybean farmers will converse with fairgoers in the Ag Building Aug. 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They’ll share insights about the soybean industry, and answer questions about production, environmental stewardship and trade. Visitors can test their agricultural knowledge and win prizes.
The ISA is also proud to sponsor the Little Hands on the Farm Kids Zone on the fairground’s north side. Little Hands on the Farm teaches children the importance of agriculture and how it affects their daily lives in a fun and interactive way.
On Sunday, Aug. 12, nearly 100 farmers will welcome 400 guests as they gather around the largest dinner table ever set at the Iowa State Fair. The table will be set in the middle of the Grand Concourse.. The ISA is proud to help sponsor this unique event where farmers will share how food is grown and makes its way from the farm to the fair as they encourage additional farm and city fellowship.
Soybeans will also be on display at the Varied Industries building as part of the Iowa Food and Family Project exhibit. The ISA is a founding partner of the Iowa Food & Family project that encourages Iowans to become more confident and trusting in agriculture and food production through community activities, educational programs and information sharing.
Expedition Farm Tour, Aug. 24 - 25
The ISA is helping sponsor the Iowa Food & Family project’s fourth annual Expedition Farm Country. Fifty consumers will be selected to participate in the two-day tour of farms, historic sites and local eateries. One of the stops includes ISA farmer director, Suzanne Shirbroun and her husband, Joe. To learn more or enter for the opportunity to participate, go to www.iowafoodandfamily.com.
Farm Progress Show, Aug.28 – 30
Guests are encouraged to visit tent No. 740 for farmer/industry dialogue and hands-on learning. Show-goers can learn the latest information regarding soybean research, markets, and get a chance to talk with ISA directors. American Soybean Association representatives will also be on hand to offer additional perspectives about policy issues impacting soybean farmers. Attendees who join the ISA as an Advocate member during the show will receive a personalized farm sign painted on authentic barn wood and be entered to win a $500 biodiesel gift card sponsored by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Why are Soybeans Big in Iowa?
Iowa routinely ranks first or second nationally in soybean production.. It accounts for approximately 14 percent of all soybeans grown in the U.S.. The state’s soybean farmers have invested more than $40 million in research to further promote conservation and sustainability efforts since the ISA was launched in 1964. Iowa-grown soybeans also contribute to the local and global economy in a variety of ways:
- Biodiesel: Iowa is the leading biodiesel-producing state. Iowa biodiesel supported nearly 3,800 full-time equivalent jobs in the state in 2017 and adds $457 million of GDP annually, per the National Biodiesel board.Biodiesel alone contributes to 63 cents in market value while also lowering the price of soybean meal for livestock farmers.
- Livestock:One of every four rows of soybeans grown in Iowa is fed to the more than 38 million pigs raised annually in Iowa. Domestic animal agriculture uses over 26 million metric tons of U.S. soybean meal. That’s the meal from more than 1.2 billion bushels of U.S. soybeans.
- Research: The ISA works to improve the profitability and sustainability of Iowa soybean farmers. Research done through the ISA On-Farm Network contributes to improve sustainability efforts such as bioreactors, which can reduce nitrogen runoff by up to 90%.
- Soyfoods: With protein being the most sought-out nutritional attribute, 52 percent of millennials are consuming soy, which is low in fat and cholesterol, at least once a week. Over the past four years, more than 170 new soy products have been brought to market.
Funded by soybean checkoff
The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 40,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 22 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.