Rows of green soybean plants

On March 9 and 11, the RCFI will host free webinars featuring staff experts and farmer partners discussing the benefits of ISA research projects. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

March webinars highlight RCFI’s farmer focus

February 18, 2021 | Heather Lilienthal

The Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI) is driven to deliver farmer-focused, farmer-led research that combines agronomic, conservation and analytic information to soybean farmers. On March 9 and 11, the RCFI will host free webinars featuring staff experts and farmer partners discussing the benefits of engaging with ISA research projects.

The Innovation To Go! webinars offer soybean farmers a virtual, one-hour dive into 2020 results and 2021 opportunities.

The RCFI staff is excited to interact with farmer participants and welcoming new farmers to 2021 opportunities.

“The Mar. 9 first webinar is directed to farmers who might not have engaged with us in the past. We want to give them some general information before digging into the details and data,” said Ed Anderson, ISA senior director of research. “The second webinar on Mar. 11 is geared to those farmers who have worked with us and want to hear the project results and learn what that means for them and others in the state who have done similar research.”

Both webinars will be held from 8-9 a.m. Anderson said the webinars have two main goals: bring value in a concise way to farmers and kick off a year-long series of stories, reports, webinars, and more. It’s a departure from past years featuring a single event.

“It is exciting to create this continuing education effort instead of a “one-and-done” approach,” said Todd Sutphin, ISA senior research program manager. “We will highlight the work being done, offer ways to get involved, and continue to offer content through our ISA communication channels that allow farmers to dig into the issues that impact and interest them.”

Webinar 1: March 9, 8 a.m -9 a.m

Focused on introducing the center to new and interested farmers and explaining how to get involved with ISA research opportunities. Topics will include regional research priorities, current results, and steps to get connected.

Webinar 2: March 11, 8 a.m -9 a.m

Geared to current farmer participants, providing key takeaways from recent work studying enhanced nutrient and cover crop management and how a cropping systems approach leads to increased productivity and profitability. Register for both webinars today at iasoybeans.com/research. One registration will grant access to both events.

While webinars are common for farmers these days, ISA’s foundation is unique.

“We’re unique because we are a farmer-focused, membership organization that isn’t selling products or regulating practices. We are here to help farmers in a truly unbiased way,” explained Sutphin. “We understand that every farm is unique, but there is usually at least one area of the operation that a farmer would like to improve and learn how to make better decisions to protect profitability and productivity.”

That’s where the ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation comes in.

“Farmers are our only focus,” said Anderson. “As we watch commodity prices rise and fall, we want farmers to remember that the ISA RCFI is always consistent. We are listening to farmers, understanding what they want and need and providing them specific research and technical information to help them be profitable.”

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