ISA's Michael Dolch addresses members via Zoom (picture

ISA staff and farmer directors lead the ISA All-State Update meeting virtually this week. Farmers got the chance to hear the latest ISA activities and ask questions.

Statewide ISA meeting highlights ISA's work, membership benefits

August 27, 2020 | Bethany Baratta

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is Driven to Deliver increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. 

ISA’sall-state update, held virtually this week, reminded  participants of the importance of their membership as it relates to market development, policy implementation, research and communication.

Sponsored by FMC, the one-hour sessions provided a snapshot of what’s happening in these four areas.

Market development

COVID-19 may be limiting the opportunities to visit with export partners face-to-face, but ISA hasn’t lost its focus on expanding markets for Iowa’s soybean farmers.

The implementation of the phase one agreement is underway, with hopes that China can achieve the $36.6 billion in ag purchases in year one of the deal. ISA Senior Director of Market Development Grant Kimberley says China’s recent soybean purchases have been encouraging. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects an uptick of soybean exports in the 2021 marketing year, at 2.125 billion bushels. This would be the highest export total since the trade war with China began in July 2018.

ISA supports efforts through the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health to diversify markets through the What it Takes initiative.

Expanding biodiesel usage on the farm and at retail pumps also supports the prices soybean farmers receive for their product. Biodiesel production, made up of about 50% soybean oil, supports soybean price while also decreasing feed prices and increasing the value of animal fat for livestock farmers. Biodiesel added at least $34 per acre in value to Iowa’s soybean farms in 2019, according to a study by Informa Economics.

For more information on market development efforts, email Grant at or call 515-334-1024.


Using your investment in the soybean checkoff and leveraging it through a variety of public and private partnerships, the ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation applies their combined expertise, experience and expansive data to serve ISA farmer members. That means members have unique access to data and information from on-farm trials and through collaborations with private and public partnerships.

The ISA research team approaches their work holistically, said Ed Anderson, ISA senior director of research. This includes testing and evaluating how a practice or product performs on the farm, soil testing, plant tissue sampling and a complete analysis as the ISA analytics team develops models and interactive decision tools.

Have more questions about the projects and the research happening at the Center? Contact Ed Anderson by email at or by phone at 515-334-1059.

Information and education

ISA’s information and education team is driven to provide information tailored to the needs of Iowa soybean farmers, enabling timely decision making and offering important news and updates that matter to you.

Stay connected through the weekly digital newsletter, delivered to your inbox each Thursday providing the latest news and information impacting your farm.

Published eight times per year, the Iowa Soybean Review® provides Iowa soybean farmers with information on how to make their farming operation more profitable. Through stories about production research, biodiesel, soyfoods, environmental stewardship, production research, transportation, international marketing and more, our readers get cutting edge, and often exclusive, information about ISA, soybean production and the soybean industry as a whole. Read the latest issue here!

The State of Soy video series features dynamic guests and experts highlighting the latest updates in the world of soy. Also available in podcast form, the monthly episodes also feature farmers from across the state as they share their stories from their operations.

Information you need is just a click away. Our website and social media is updated regularly with ISA's trusted and timely content as well as content from our partners.

ISA Public Relations Manager Katie James fields 300 to 700 media requests per year from media outlets around the world. And those journalists often want to talk to you, the farmer. Join ISA’s Communications Squad to learn how you can better tell your farm story to audiences around the globe.

Another area to get involved with the Association is the ISA Experience Class. Formulated to get you up close and personal with all of ISA’s efforts by taking a deep dive into the various programs that exist to serve you.

For more information about our communication and outreach efforts, email Aaron Putze at or call 515-334-1099.


Advocate membership makes legislative efforts in Des Moines and Washington, D.C. possible. Investing in Advocate membership allows ISA to develop and secure important policies which allow farmers to flourish, according to Michael Dolch, director of public affairs for ISA.

During the 2020 state legislative session, a reauthorization of the 3-cent tax differential for biodiesel blends of B11 and higher was secured. The 6-year extension will help boost demand for soybeans and should help support prices.

ISA was successful in efforts to maintain and increase funding for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. In June, the legislature approved $3 million in funding for FY2021. Two weeks later, Governor Reynolds announced a $7 million boost to the program through the federal CARES Act. The program has increased retail availability of biodiesel in Iowa almost three-fold since 2015.

ISA looks forward to working with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig and legislators throughout the off-season and into next year’s session to fully fund and implement the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust. Boosting the state’s sales tax by just a penny will generate nearly $100 million annually for advancing water quality, an increase of 31% from current funding.

As the impacts of COVID-19 became more widespread, ISA reached out to ensure that agriculture was deemed critical and essential to provide some continuity through the pandemic.

At the federal level, American Soybean Association (ASA) Executive Director of Government Affairs Christy Seyfert says supporting the farm economy, trade, biodiesel and transportation and infrastructure have been critical this year.

ASA worked to secure resources for COVID response and address regulatory challenges. It also helped advance biotech and crop protection priorities.

Under Seyfert’s leadership, ASA urged the completion of the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and progress on new free trade agreements.

ASA continues to push for favorable implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. A meeting is scheduled yet this week with EPA Administrator Wheeler asking again to reject the waivers.

“Bottom line it impacts you as farmers and we want to make sure that it is not undermined; RFS is a priority,” Seyfert told ISA members on the call.

ASA continues to support inland waterways infrastructure, including the deepening of the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet.

For more information on ISA policies and priorities, email Michael at

Stay up to date with the latest soybean information by activating or validating your membership today. Go to

A replay of the meeting will be available soon at

Contact Bethany Baratta at