Iowa soybean grower on his farm

(Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)

Member Feature: Justin Dammann

July 19, 2022 | Kriss Nelson

When Justin Dammann reflects on the history of his family’s 121-year-old farm, the transformation from a bustling farm producing goods for self-sufficiency to the diversified business it has become stands out the most.

Dammann, his wife Jennifer, and children Jillian and Jayden raise cattle and grow soybeans and corn on their Page County farm near Essex. They also own a custom farming business specializing in Richiger grain bagging systems, McHale hay equipment and Tubeline equipment sales.

Connecting with Consumers

The Dammanns have used the opportunity to connect the farm to consumers through their involvement in the Iowa Food & Family Project.

“We networked with other farm families and shared our story with consumers, answering questions about their food and what we do on our farm,” Dammann says.

The Iowa Food & Family Project celebrates farm families by uniting rural and urban communities and providing information and experiences consumers need to make informed food choices.

The initiative involves a collaborative network of nearly 35 food, farming and healthy living organizations, funded by soybean, pork, beef, egg, corn, turkey and dairy checkoffs and non-checkoff resources.

Answers Through Research

Dammann has also participated in on-farm trials through the Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI).

Trials ranging from side-by-side research of fungicide and foliar applications and population trials have been conducted on the Dammann farm.

Not only has Dammann been able to have the research to support products to use on his farm but the results have also been used to help other farmers make profitable decisions.

“Companies tell growers to do their research. They are right. But the reality is, it is tough to get the crop planted and do your own research,” says Dammann. “As a grower, I appreciate the Iowa Soybean Association taking time to dive into the weeds and figure out products that are working and those that aren’t working.”

Power in Numbers

When it comes to ISA’s farmer members and the association’s work to support Iowa’s soybean farmers, Dammann says, “There is power in numbers.”

“We need to stick together and focus on what we are good at,” he says. “One thing the Iowa Soybean Association can do, that growers cannot, is find new markets. They source the new uses for soybeans and the oil that it delivers. We all must work together. We need to commit to the Iowa Soybean Association as they are committed to us, then we will all win together.”