Iowa Soybean Association Team Member Talking to Group

(Photo: Joseph Hopper/Iowa Soybean Association)

Putze named Chief Officer of Strategy and Brand Management for ISA

May 4, 2023

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) has tabbed Aaron Putze, APR, to serve in the newly-created position of Chief Officer of Strategy and Brand Management.

“These are exciting times for soybean farmers, the association, and soybean industry,” says ISA CEO Kirk Leeds. “I look forward to working with Aaron in his expanded leadership role as we increase engagement with farmers across the state and strengthen ISA’s brand and leadership.”

Putze is a 13-year veteran of the ISA and has served in a variety of roles including director of communications and industry relations and, most recently, sr. director of information & education.

“ISA and Iowa’s 37,000 soybean farmers are driven to deliver an exceptional product to people here at home and around the world,” he says. “With leadership comes a responsibility to continually advancing better ways to produce and market soybeans benefiting farmers and their customers and communities. I look forward to playing a more active role in these efforts.”

The production, versatility and value of soybeans continue to gain momentum. Since 1982, U.S. soybean production has nearly doubled– from 2.2 billion bushels in 1982 to 4.3 billion last year. Soybean production has doubled in just the past 10 years, from around 300 million bushels to nearly 600 million. 

Putze says opportunity exists around every corner for soybean farmers. Demand is taking flight for biobased products, more domestic soybean meal production is opening new markets for U.S. soy, and an expanded research portfolio is adding value to every acre of soybeans produced.

Iowa’s soybean farmers are also engaging in the drafting of a new farm bill, pressing the administration and Environmental Protection Agency it directs to fully back renewable fuels and using more conservation practices to improve soil health, bump productivity and improve water quality.

Leveraging these incredible developments in the soybean industry, says Putze, starts with sound strategy backed by an incredibly strong brand and involving as many farmers as possible in shaping the present and future of the industry.

“We must ensure the voice and needs of the people who grow and sell soybeans are asserted in all aspects of the oilseed’s value chain, from research and production to market development and policy,” he adds. “The continued success of the industry depends on farmers being fully engaged and involved in matters impacting their livelihood.”

Putze will continue to work closely with all aspects of I&E programming while helping lead ISA’s new strategic plan development and implementation. He’ll network closely with Leeds and ISA’s 22 farmer directors to maximize use of timely data, sound strategy, strategic alliances, and wise resource allocations and represent ISA at external meetings, forums and trade missions.

Putze is an accredited public relations professional and holds a certificate of leadership training from Drake University. He was raised on a farm near West Bend and earned degrees in communications, public relations and journalism from the University of Northern Iowa. He and his wife Crystal and family live in Waukee.