(Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)
Policy Champion Award | Jeff Ellis
February 28, 2023 | Joseph Hopper
This award recognizes an Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Advocate member with a proven track record of personally engaging elected leaders on issues and topics of consequence to the soybean industry. The recipient is also involved in ISA activities that develop and amplify soybean policy and is recognized by their peers as a knowledgeable and trusted resource on soybean industry policy.
Jeff Ellis has been active with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) for years, during which he’s been described as having “a selfless desire and willingness to help surface, debate and shape policy impacting Iowa agriculture and the soybean industry.” His peers in the industry have taken special notice of Ellis’ knowledge and practical attitude to policy and advocacy.
The Donnellson farmer was caught off guard when he learned he was the 2023 Policy Champion. It shouldn’t be surprising, though, given his involvement in policy, advocacy and communication. Ellis has served as an ISA policy delegate for four years, participated in the 2022-2023 Policy Leadership Fellowship class, represented Iowa in Syngenta’s Leadership at its Best program and has taken an active role engaging policymakers during the Iowa legislative session.
“When I was in college, I had a teacher say, ‘If you’re going to do something in life, be involved,’” Ellis says. So, he and his wife Paula get involved.
“If you want someone to know your story, you have to tell them,” he says.
Well into his farming career, Ellis says it’s time to give back to the soybean industry.
“Once you hit a certain age, you need to start giving back,” he says. “Being involved and advocating for our industry is one way to give back.”
Ellis says promoting policy that’s good for soybean farmers can be complicated; it’s more than simply addressing a single major issue.
He adds, “Policy, farming and agriculture — it’s always a handful of things at one time.”