Kirk Leeds, ISA CEO

(Photo: Joclyn Bushman/Iowa Soybean Association)

Executive Insights: People Power

October 13, 2022 | Kirk Leeds

Harvest is in full gear. That means cooler temperatures, college football Saturdays (Go State!) and the waning days of another growing season.

The Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) 2022 program year concluded Sept. 30. It was productive, highlighted by an increase of nearly 700 farmer members (the second consecutive year we’ve exceeded our membership goal). As I pen this column, more than 14,200 soybean farmers actively engage with the association more directly and frequently, an increase of 1,552 from just two harvests ago.

Much like you keep an eye on your yield monitor, we closely track membership. It’s people who power ISA’s success. Our ability to influence big issues benefiting the soybean industry directly correlates to involved and engaged members. Farmer input is critical to everything we do as an association.

You also rely on inputs to make your farm work – from equipment, seed and fertilizer to data, energy and labor. In this edition of the Iowa Soybean Review, we focus on these important resources and the impact of supply chain disruptions (like war and transportation bottlenecks) on their price and availability.

While events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and long waits at our nation’s ports are beyond your control, you have an ultimate say in the amount of input you provide to ISA.

Participating in our research trials, district summer meetings, Winter Soy Summit and Innovation to Profit Conference (mark your calendars now for Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023), along with making your voice heard to elected officials are several ways to engage with purpose. So, too, is serving on the ISA board (welcome Dave Struthers of Collins, who was installed last month as District 5 director).

We also offer farmers the opportunity to provide input courtesy of a host of innovative programs. They include the Iowa Food & Family Project, Policy Leaders Fellowship, Experience Class and Communications Squad. These activities, funded by checkoff and non-checkoff resources, are most effective when farmers are actively involved.

As you complete another soybean harvest, consider ways you can share your input with ISA. Hearing directly from farmers about what truly matters to you and your family is incredibly impactful. Your input can also be a reality check, helping us understand what motivates a farmer to grow soybeans and how ISA can make your journey to next year’s harvest more fulfilling and profitable.

It’s people who power ISA. Get behind the wheel to ensure we’re Driven to Deliver in ways that matter.