(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association / Joclyn Bushman)
See ISA behind the scenes with Soy Squad
September 21, 2023 | Kriss Nelson
Get a behind-the-scenes look into the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and more by signing up for the 2023-2034 Soy Squad.
The program is open for individuals attending a two or four-year college or university pursuing a major in agriculture or an agriculture-related field and can attend the scheduled meetings.
Throughout the three sessions, planned for Nov. 2-3, Jan. 30-31 and March 22, students will learn about the soybean checkoff and explore additional topics related to ISA. Grow your professional network while taking a deep-dive into the role that ISA’s four departments (research, demand, public affairs, and information education) play in supporting farmers and building opportunities for soy.
“When Soy Squad members complete the program, they will have networked with farmer leaders and industry professionals, gained insights into the soybean industry, and have grown personally and professionally,” says ISA Producer Services Coordinator Julia Brenizer.
Recent Iowa State University graduate Leah Mosher participated in last year’s Soy Squad program.
Now serving as executive assistant to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Mosher says she found value in learning about and engaging with Iowa’s commodity organizations.
“The ISA staff exposes the Soy Squad members to all facets of the organization,” she says. “We met with the most thoughtful, critical-thinking and enthusiastic grower members throughout the program. I walked away encouraged because I knew there were soybean producers throughout the state who could serve as mentors, friends and leaders.”
Ashlee Tomlinson, an agribusiness student at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), reflects fondly on her experience with Soy Squad.
“Throughout the year, I learned so much about the Iowa Soybean Association and had the opportunity to network with so many amazing people, making connections I still have today,” she says.
Mosher and Tomlinson encourage other students to apply for Soy Squad.
“The program helps students actively engage in the organization's work and provides a platform for them to become involved post-graduation,” says Mosher. “Soy Squad is impactful, important and an experience worth being a part of.”
The fifth-generation of her farming family, Mosher hopes to return to her family farm and use what she learned from her time in the program, remaining active in ISA.
“Soy Squad helped me see how imperative it was to stay active in the organization representing me as a soybean producer,” she says.
“I encourage any college student with any interest in or experience in agriculture to apply,” says Tomlinson, “You will not regret it.”
If you want to join Soy Squad, contact Brenizer at firstname.lastname@example.org or register here.