Ray and Chris Gaesser (left to right), a father-son duo

Ray and Chris Gaesser (left to right), a father-son duo of Corning, were named runners up in the 2021 Corteva Agriscience Climate Leaders Program. (Photo Credit: Iowa Soybean Association)

ISA Members Recognized in Corteva Agriscience Climate Positive Leaders Program

October 6, 2021 | Brock Johnston

Ankeny, Iowa — Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) members have been recognized for implementing and sharing climate positive practices. 

Bill Couser, a grain and livestock farmer in Nevada, is one of only nine global leaders to be awarded the Corteva Agriscience 2021 Climate Positive Leaders Program recognition. Ray and Chris Gaesser, a father-son duo of Corning, were named runners up. 

The distinction is a nomination-based farmer and rancher award showcasing farmers who are successfully implementing and bringing awareness to climate-positive agriculture practices that improve land and environmental health. 

“We’ve been trying different conservation practices for years due to our livestock. In the last 10 years, the push for farmers to try these practices has increased significantly,” says Couser. “We’re taking advantage of practices including no-till farming, cover crops, saturated buffers, bioreactors and more to retain nutrients in our fields.” 

Couser is the owner of Modern Ag Farm, a showcase of farming practices to educate producers on the benefits and applications of sustainable agriculture. The techniques demonstrated at the farm reduce the need for synthetic inputs, directly improving soil and water health. 

“Agriculture is my livelihood, which is why I feel we must share the good things we do each and every day as farmers and ranchers to improve soil health and water quality,” says Couser.  

Farmer leaders from five countries were awarded a lifetime membership to the Global Farm Network to improve engagement and communication training opportunities. Each winner was also given soil sampling, carbon sequestration measurement and guidance from Dr. Rattan Lal at the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (CMSAC). 

Seven runners-up were also named, including the Gaessers. 

“It’s all about preserving resources for the future and improving profitability,” said Chris. “Improving soil health will not only produce better crops, it protects the land for years to come”.

His father Ray is a past president of both the Iowa Soybean Association and the American Soybean Association. 

The duo has implemented a series of practices on their farm including the addition of buffer strips, terraces and cover crops to improve soil health.

To learn more about the recipients of the 2021 Climate Positive Leaders Program by Corteva Agriscience, www.corteva.com/sustainability.

Iowa is among the nation’s leaders in soybean production. Learn more about the efforts of our farmer members here: iasoybeans.com.


Funded by the soybean checkoff


The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) 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. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.