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55 YEARS OF ISA


THE NEXT LEVEL IN PERFORMANCE HAS ARRIVED.

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President Lindsay Greiner, Keota | At Large President Elect Tim Bardole, Rippey | At Large Treasurer Robb Ewoldt, Blue Grass | D6

Spring 2019 | Vol. 31, No. 7

Secretary Dave Walton, Wilton | D6 Executive Committee Randy Miller, Lacona | D8 Board of Directors Brent Swart, Spencer | D1 Chuck White, Spencer | D1 April Hemmes, Hampton | D2 Casey Schlichting, Clear Lake | D2 Rick Juchems, Plainfield | D3 Suzanne Shirbroun, Farmersburg | D3 LaVerne Arndt, Sac City | D4 Jeff Frank, Auburn | D4 Rolland Schnell, Newton | D5 Morey Hill, Madrid | D5 Bill Shipley, Nodaway | D7 Jeff Jorgenson, Sidney | D7 Warren Bachman, Osceola | D8 Pat Swanson, Ottumwa | D9 Tom Adam, Harper | D9 Brent Renner, Klemme | At Large Stephanie Essick, Dickens | At Large American Soybean Association Board of Directors Morey Hill, Madrid Wayne Fredericks, Osage Brian Kemp, Sibley John Heisdorffer, Keota Dean Coleman, Humboldt United Soybean Board of Directors Delbert Christensen, Audubon Larry Marek, Riverside Tom Oswald, Cleghorn April Hemmes, Hampton Staff Credits Editor | Ann Clinton Communications Director | Aaron Putze, APR Senior Creative Manager | Ashton Boles Photographer | Joseph L. Murphy Staff Writer | Bethany Baratta Staff Writer | Carol Brown Staff Writer | Lauren Houska Staff Writer | Katie Johnson Sales Director | David Larson Iowa Soybean Review is published eight times a year by: Iowa Soybean Association 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, Iowa 50023 (515) 251-8640 | iasoybeans.com E-mail: aclinton@iasoybeans.com

12 A Look Back

Leaders reflect on 55 years.

17 Doing More Together

Checkoff-funded research pays dividends to Iowa farmers.

21 Family History

Three generations talk challenges and opportunities.

24 A Helping Hand

The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers celebrates 15 years of serving Iowa farm families.

On the Cover: The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is celebrating its 55-year anniversary. Emerald green has been used to honor the accomplishments of ISA members, partners and staff in this special issue of the Iowa Soybean Review. Congratulations, Iowa soybean farmers! (Photo credit: United Soybean Board)

For advertising information in the Iowa Soybean Review, please contact Larson Ent. LLC (515) 440-2810 or Dave@LarsonentLLC.com. Comments and statewide news articles should be sent to the above address. Advertising space reservations must be made by the first day of the month preceding publication. In consideration of the acceptance of the advertisement, the agency and the advertiser must, in respect of the contents of the advertisement, indemnify and save the publisher harmless against any expense arising from claims or actions against the publisher because of the publication of the content of the advertisement.

SPRING 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM | 3


Kirk Leeds Chief Executive Officer, Iowa Soybean Association kleeds@iasoybeans.com, Twitter @kirkleeds

Emerald Green – Celebrating 55 Years

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his year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). In 1964, a small group of soybean farmers decided to form ISA to expand demand for Iowa soybeans and help farmers increase yields and reduce costs. Although a relatively new crop in the early 60s, this group of visionary leaders knew the “magical bean” had great potential as an oil and high-quality protein for human consumption. It could also be a critical ingredient in commercial livestock feed, they thought. I doubt many of those farmers in 1964 could have imagined the expansion in soybean consumption and production that would occur in the next five-plus decades. They couldn’t fully appreciate then the number of new uses such as biodiesel, soy ink, soy wax, soybased candles and lubricants, carpet backing, tires, automobile seats,

paints and a host of other products that would be developed and promoted in the years to come. How could they possibly have foreseen that China, a country with hundreds of millions of poor, starving people would someday be the largest consumer of soybeans in the world and the No.1 market for U.S. soybeans? Would they have even anticipated that soybeans would challenge — and at times surpass — corn acres in the United States? This issue of the Iowa Soybean Review focuses on ISA’s 55th anniversary with stories celebrating the organization’s successes. Of note is an accounting of checkoff investments, first by the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board and more recently by ISA, in funding important and timely production research. There is also a story about a recent roundtable discussion I was a part of with four former and current

farmer leaders (pictured below). Although I have only been at ISA for 30 of its 55 years, the time spent with this group of leaders reminded me that today’s organization is what it is because of decisions made by farmers who have led this organization. Enjoy this special edition of the publication as we celebrate our 55th anniversary. I hope you notice the special use of emerald green on the cover and throughout the magazine. Emerald green is used to celebrate 55th anniversaries and is a great way for ISA to celebrate the reaching of this milestone. The deep green gemstone is known to represent commitment — an important trait the founders of this organization and the many farmers who have followed have demonstrated.

From left: Yvonne Wente, Ray Gaesser, Lindsay Greiner, Kirk Leeds, Ron Heck

4 | SPRING 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM


Full-Circle Return

HERE’S HOW THE SOY CHECKOFF WORKS. The national soy checkoff was created as part of the 1990 Farm Bill. The Act & Order that created the soy checkoff requires that all soybean farmers pay into the soy checkoff at the first point of purchase. These funds are then used for promotion, research and education at both the state and national level.

S TO ELEVATORS, PROCESS N A E ORS B ELL &D S EA RS E LER M R S A F 1/2 of 1% of the total selling price collected per the national soybean act & order

0.5%

Half goes to the state checkoff for investment in areas that are a priority for that state.

PROMOTION

RESEARCH

EDUCATION

ROI TO THE FA RMER by 73 volunteer soybean farmers, the United Soybean Board * Led (USB) invests and leverages soy checkoff dollars to MAXIMIZE PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES for all U.S. soybean farmers.

unitedsoybean.org

Half goes to the national checkoff for investment in USB’s* long-range strategic plan.


Michael Dolch Director of Public Affairs, Iowa Soybean Association MDolch@iasoybeans.com

Right Time, Right Place

T

his winter was less than pleasant. It was cold, wet and windy. It sleeted, snowed, melted, iced over and snowed again. Quite frankly, it sucked. Through it all, I kept reminding myself that spring was coming. Maybe that’s my optimism shining through, or just a play on Game of Thrones’ series premiere “Winter is Coming.” Either way, spring has sprung. As I wrote this month’s column, the state legislative session was heating up (to wind down) and members of Iowa’s congressional delegation were crisscrossing the state during a two-week Easter recess. Like so many for a long holiday weekend, I gassed up the Chevy and headed home. Home for me is a family farm just north of Villisca — a small map dot two hours south and west of Des Moines. Admittedly, I don’t make the drive often enough. But when opportunity knocks, it’s a chance to loosen the tie, turn down a gravel road, and crank some 90s country. Even with a lengthy to-do list awaiting my arrival — those

“character building” tasks as my folks say — it’s a chance to break away from the daily grind and press reset. With anhydrous application in full swing, every tractor leading a cloud of dust across a field was refreshing. Knowing I would soon be writing part two of “Membership Matters,” my mind wandered into the Advocate arena. I started drawing comparisons between farm life and ISA’s membership. Corn needs nitrogen (N) throughout the growing season in varying amounts. The goal is to keep enough nitrogen available during all growth stages, so development never slows down. Nitrogen works in corn like communication for membership, fueling crop growth from emergence through maturity. A lack of communication at any point can cause membership activity to sputter or stall. Similarly, the goal is to provide members the right information at the right time, stewarding an issue from infancy through adulthood. While there is

no secret sauce to this information exchange, the timely application of communication throughout the year is mutually beneficial. If I’ve learned anything over the last six months, it’s that soybean farmers are passionate people. People determined to leave the Earth a better place than when they arrived. People willing to reach across the political aisle for the betterment of an industry. People willing to help those in need, which has become more evident than ever in the wake of disaster across much of Nebraska and western Iowa. Busy people wearing many hats. Therefore, we strive for timely and effective communication with our Advocate Membership. Read next month’s column for a recap of Iowa’s legislative session and part three of “Membership Matters.” Until then, and from all of us here at ISA, have a safe and productive #Plant19.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS ANNOUNCED A SOYBEAN CHECKOFF REQUEST FOR REFERENDUM (RFR).

To be eligible to participate, producers must certify that they or the producer entity they are authorized to represent paid an assessment any time between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2018.

Eligible U.S. soybean farmers may request a referendum beginning MAY 6, 2019 AND ENDING MAY 31, 2019.

The RFR occurs every five years, and the official notice is available online in the Federal Register (www.govinfo.gov).

6 | SPRING 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM


your

cooperative

soybean processor

www.agp.com

GOLD CLUB RECOGNITION THE IOWA SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION (ISA) GOLD CLUB IS A UNIQUE LEVEL OF MEMBERSHIP MADE UP OF A DIVERSE GROUP OF CONTRIBUTORS. FROM INDIVIDUAL FARMERS TO SMALL BUSINESSES TO LARGE CORPORATIONS, GOLD CLUB MEMBERS NOT ONLY SUPPORT THE ASSOCIATION'S PROGRAMS, THEY ALSO ENJOY SPECIAL BENEFITS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT HEATHER LILIENTHAL AT HLILIENTHAL@IASOYBEANS.COM TO LEARN HOW THIS LEVEL OF MEMBERSHIP CAN BENEFIT YOU, YOUR CUSTOMERS AND THE STATE'S SOYBEAN INDUSTRY.

Thank you to the following for their support for the Gold Club in the past year. Low Mu Tech Latham Hi-Tech Seeds Beck's Hybrids Dow Du-Pont Pioneer Ag Processing, Inc. Cargill Jorgenson Farm Corporation Peoples Company

Chuck White Farm Iowa Select Farms FMC Corp TruAcre Technology Int'l FC Stone, LLC Sukup Manufacturing Co. Bayer CropScience LP

Farm Credit Services of America Sunderman Farm Mgt. Co. Gaesser Farms John Deere Des Moines Hertz Farm Management, Inc. Stine Seed Company Landus Cooperative Mid-Iowa Seeds, LLC


Jeff Jorgenson, farmer from Sidney, assesses damage to one of his fields caused by historic flooding.

LEVEE CONCERNS FARMERS QUESTION FUTURE OF REPAIRS BY JOSEPH L. MURPHY

A

s farmers across the state are busy planting, many acres lie fallow along the Missouri River. That is the harsh reality for farmers like Jeff Jorgenson as they continue to assess the damage caused by historic flooding. "There are serious questions down here,” says Jorgenson, district 7 director for the Iowa Soybean Association. We are wondering if the Corps [United States Army Corps of Engineers] will be able to repair breached levees.” Producers in the area have been attending informational meetings conducted by various government entities but some say there are still more questions than answers. "We mistakenly thought 2011 was

8 | SPRING 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM

bad," says Richard Payne, a landowner working to close those breaches and near Percival and one of Jorgenson's regain flood protections for cities and landlords. "This is a lot worse. I’m just farms in the Missouri River basin. about ill." “One of the According to more substantial Major General Scott breaches is in Spellmon, Deputy a levee that Commanding protected the city General for Civil of Hamburg,” says and Emergency Gen. Spellmon. Operations for the “The breach will Major General Army Corps of require nearly Scott Spellmon Engineers, at least one million cubic 32 levee systems yards of material were completely underwater during to complete the initial emergency the floods. As of late April, officials closure. That is the equivalent to counted 114 breaches in those levees, approximately 100,000 dump truck he says. Army Corps officials are loads of material.”


Corps officials say a bidding process needs to take place for breached levee repair contracts. Then equipment will need to be mobilized, possibly from Louisiana, before dredging and repair work could begin. At the earliest, he fears, it could be midMay before the most crucial of levees can be plugged. Farm-to-market roads, bridges, railroad tracks and Interstate 29 all took serious hits as a result of the Missouri River flash flooding. Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, says there isn't a quick fix for those losses. "It’s had a really negative impact on the industry," Steenhoek says. "I don’t know of a rural bridge, a rural road or frankly any mode of transportation that has a happy coexistence with flooding conditions." He says the damage to county roads and bridges put pressure on budgets that are already

stressed. Combined with the uncertainty of continued flooding he fears that engineers could be more hesitant to fix some of the roads in the near term. "I think this challenge could manifest for a long period of time," Steenhoek says. "This is the level of government that has the least amount of money. Their ability to make these types of investments is already constricted." He added that investment in transportation infrastructure in the flooded areas would impact the bottom line of the farmers who work in that area. "For farmers, there is the impact to their fields. But there are a lot of farmers who chose to store their crops in hopes of having a more favorable climate to market their grain. Now, all of a sudden you have washed out bridges and other crumbling infrastructure that is less capable of accommodating those deliveries,” he says.

Flood damange near Percival.

Major damage to infrastructure.

FOOD LABELS PRESENTED BY THE

Fact or Fiction? It’s difficult to know sometimes when scanning the labels of your favorite food. In a rush to make sales, brands and retailers are routinely shelving science and reality. The consequences for consumers, farmers and our planet are real and expensive! Get the inside scoop on the wild, wild west of food labeling and what you can do to lasso increased confidence about the food you love and the people who grow it.

WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE AT IASOYBEANS.COM Funded by the soybean checkoff


How do we nourish the world sustainably? Stay connected.

© 2019 Cargill Incorporated

The future of our food and our planet are deeply connected. When food moves across borders it can be grown in the right climate, using less land and water. Opening new markets boosts food production, spurs job creation and puts food on more tables around the world. That’s why we work to stay connected through trade – to sustainably nourish the world and build local economies that thrive. Learn more at cargill.com

On your anniversary, Iowa Corn congratulates the Iowa Soybean Association for the work you do to enhance grower profitability to ensure the legacy of Iowa’s farm families continues.


55 YEARS OF ISA

v

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AS THE SEEDS PLANTED THIS SPRING BEGIN TO GROW INTO A BOUNTIFUL CROP, THE IOWA SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION IS CELEBRATING ITS 55-YEAR ANNIVERSARY. AS YOU WILL READ THROUGHOUT THIS SPECIAL SECTION, THE LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE IN AGRICULTURE IS ALIVE AND WELL AT ISA TODAY. CE LEBRATING 55 Y E ARS | 11


A LOOK BACK LEADERS REFLECT ON 55 YEARS

BY BETHANY BARATTA

PAST AND PRESENT LEADERS OF THE IOWA SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION (ISA) SHARED PERSPECTIVE ABOUT HOW ISA HAS BEEN RELEVANT THE PAST 55 YEARS AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THE INDUSTRY AND SOYBEAN FARMERS.

12 | C E LE B RATI NG 5 5 Y EA R S

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF ISA, WHAT STANDS OUT? HECK: “I was in high school when

it was established, so I got to watch most of it unfold. There’s a lot that stands out but watching export markets develop stands out the most. Before 1964, the U.S. government didn’t even keep track of U.S. soybean exports. In the last 55 years, we’ve helped develop that market. But at that time people barely knew what soybeans were. They didn’t know how to use, grow or breed them. They were just a new crop. So, our task was to develop that new crop.” WENTE: “When I came on the

board in 1990, we were trying to get the support of producers for the national checkoff for soybean promotion and research. We went door to door, explaining the importance of the checkoff to farmers. It was a huge challenge

getting producers to understand the importance of the funding that was needed to promote their products. People didn’t understand the amount of money it was going to take to get further research for new soy uses like ink, diesel, oil and foods.” LEEDS: “ISA was a policy

organization when it started. But clearly, farmers in 1964 recognized that it was a new crop and farmers didn’t know how to grow it. They had the vision to see that it was a fast-expanding market — they were going to produce too many soybeans and would need markets for surplus soybeans. They also realized it was going to take money to do that. In the first 10 years, one of ISA's key focus areas was the establishment of the checkoff program.”


HOW HAVE ISA’S PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS LED TO SUCCESS ON YOUR FARM AND IN THE INDUSTRY? GAESSER: “About 19 years ago, it was ISA’s idea

to have research and environmental programs, but needed checkoff funds to support it. We talked a lot about it and saw the value. Now, we’re looked at as a leader in environmental research and information for water quality, nutrient sequestration, soil health and a variety of other things not only in Iowa but nationally and globally in some cases.”

v ISA officials: Ward Scott, Judson Seeley, Merlyn Groot and Willard Latham

WENTE: “We wouldn’t be where we are as a

state organization without the county volunteers who spend countless hours doing promotions at filling stations with biodiesel, making soy donuts, touting the benefits of soy oil, distributing soy food samples at grocery stores and demonstrating how soy ink could be beneficial for printing. All of these promotions are vitally important and allow opportunities at every level for producers.”

EST.1964

PARTICIPANTS

RAY GAESSER ASA PRESIDENT 2013-2014 AND ISA PRESIDENT 2006-2007

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SOYBEAN FARMERS TO HAVE AN ORGANIZATION SPECIFICALLY GEARED TOWARD SOYBEANS? GREINER: “If we don’t promote

WENTE: “There are other ag

our product, who’s going to do it? Nobody. We have to promote our product, and we have to advocate on behalf of the farmers that we’re representing when it comes to legislative issues at the state or national levels. It’s our job to go out and communicate and advocate for the issues that are important to Iowa soybean farmers.”

organizations, but each arm of agriculture has issues that are intrinsic to its product. So, we need ISA to address those intrinsic values, so they don’t get lost in the bigger picture.” GAESSER: “We have been

successful, but success never rests. If you want to continue to be successful, you keep working at it.”

LINDSAY GREINER ISA PRESIDENT 2019-2020

CE LEBRATING 55 Y E ARS | 13


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

PARTICIPANTS

WHAT MAKES ISA RELEVANT TO FARMERS IN THE STATE? GAESSER: “ISA creates opportunities

to grow soybeans profitably, whether it’s through research or policy that we need to create exports to build those markets.”

RON HECK ISA PRESIDENT 1993-1994 AND ASA PRESIDENT 2003-2004

KIRK LEEDS ISA CEO SINCE 1992

YVONNE WENTE FIRST FEMALE CHAIR OF THE IOWA SOYBEAN PROMOTION BOARD 1998-1999 AND USB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 1997

14 | C E LE B RATI NG 5 5 YEA R S

GREINER: “The big thing that makes

us most relevant is that it’s run by farmers from the top down. It’s our voice and our challenges that matter when it comes to deciding on research projects or speaking to legislators in Des Moines or Washington, D.C.”

LEEDS: “What’s allowed us to

be successful is the willingness to change and evolve, both as farmers and an organization. I’m in awe of how quickly and easily the organization has changed and evolved to deal with today’s challenges. The Iowa Food & Family Project is an example of seeing how the checkoff works with research and market development to promote the industry and inform consumers about agriculture.”

HOW HAS FARMER-LED, FARM-FOCUSED RESEARCH BENEFITED PRODUCERS? WHY WILL IT CONTINUE TO BE IMPORTANT? GAESSER: “Research programs

ISA has created and supported have allowed us as farmers to test new products that we were unsure of and to compare our results with others. It’s kept me from investing in something that wasn’t practical or profitable for my farm. Sometimes it taught us that we should be doing these programs or practices to make us more profitable.” HECK: “Before ISA established the On-Farm Network®, directors would gather and talk about what we did on our farms and talk about what worked or didn't work. There was no independent source of information anywhere. When I got yields maps of my 1994 crop, it was the first time that any of us had seen a yield map. We were all amazed at the unexplained yield variability.

Iowa State University professors had questions, too. Our next board meeting was a strategic planning meeting. Within two hours of seeing the new maps, we had funded a three-year project to learn more. At the end of the project, we had the internet, so we formed the On-Farm Network. It enabled us to gather and share independent information with all farmers on many practices all over the state in a credible database. The On-Farm Network is the high-tech extension of the January 1995 board meeting.” WENTE: “Grassroots-level

research through county test plots and field days have benefited farmers. ISA investment and support will continue to be important in the years to come as farmers see additional challenges.”


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

HOW WILL THE NEXT 55 YEARS BE DIFFERENT OR SIMILAR TO THE FIRST 55? LEEDS: “It will all be different,

but it will be very much the same. Farmers will still be talking about how we can sell more soybeans, how they can maximize their productivity in a sustainable, profitable way. There will still be regulatory pressure and consumers who still want to learn more about our product.” WENTE: “When I came on the

board, the average yield for soybeans was 34 bushels per acre. Now the national average is in the 50s. Some issues will remain the

same as we continue increasing production. We will need to find additional markets and more utilization for our beans.” GREINER: “I’ve been farming

40 years, and I’ve seen a lot of changes from the way I farmed in 1978 compared to the way I farm today. Tractors steer themselves. Planters vary the rate of seeding. Equipment is larger. Technology has changed a lot in the last 10 years, but we’ve seen just the tip of what it's going to do to farming.”

WHAT’S THE ROLE OF ISA IN THE FUTURE? GAESSER: “ISA has a responsibility to

help the industry, no matter what it is — policy, research or next-generation farmers or customer relationships.” GREINER: “We have to continue

providing value to our members. As long as we have the mentality of looking out for soybean farmers, we’re going to adapt and change to any challenges that come our way.” HECK: “ISA will still be expanding

opportunities and delivering results and making it a better place for Iowa soybean farmers.” LEEDS: “The needs of our farmers

might change, but as long as we evolve with them we’ll be just as important — if not more important — in the next 55 years.” Contact Bethany Baratta at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

CE LEBRATING 55 Y E ARS | 15


For 55 years, Iowa State University has partnered with the Iowa Soybean Association to enhance soybean farmers’ competitiveness through increased profitability and sustainability. It’s a critically important partnership for Iowa soybean farmers who annually grow a crop valued at over $5 billion.

Since its founding in 1964, the Iowa Soybean Association has invested more than $61 million in checkoff funding at Iowa State for basic and applied research and science-based extension and outreach. A milestone was the establishment in 2014 of the Iowa Soybean Research Center in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. A recent ISA investment helped to make possible a new state-of-the-art biosciences home for world-class scientists working on soybean challenges. And ISA has been a strong, steady partner in statewide water quality, pest resistance and monarch conservation initiatives.

The long-running partnership between ISA and ISU represents a high level of communication and collaboration among university researchers and Iowa soybean growers and stakeholders. Our partnership will continue to grow far into the future.

Congratulations to the Iowa Soybean Association for 55 years of service to the Iowa soybean industry!

working

Together, we are better. Together, we achieve more.

together

16 | SPRING 2019 | IASOYBEANS.COM


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

Lester Wilson and Jane Hove, Iowa State University

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DOING MORE COLLECTIVELY CHECKOFF-FUNDED RESEARCH PAYS DIVIDENDS TO IOWA FARMERS

BY BETHANY BARATTA

C

heckoff-funded research and coordinated efforts with Iowa State University (ISU) have paid dividends for Iowa soybean farmers. Whether it’s research in soybean breeding or soybean cyst nematode or sudden death syndrome, the partnership created with ISU and its researchers has helped Iowa soybean farmers not only overcome challenges on their farm, but stay ahead of emerging issues. ISA and the soybean checkoff have provided more than $61 million in funding for research activities through Iowa State University, says Greg Tylka, a nematology professor in the department

of plant pathology and microbiology, and director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center (ISRC) at ISU. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do if it wasn’t for ISA,” Tylka says. ISA CEO Kirk Leeds says the partnership helps fund research that supports soybean farmers in Iowa and across the nation. “The partnership with Iowa State is incredibly important because it’s allowed Iowa soybean farmers to direct their checkoff investment and in many ways the overall soybean research program at Iowa State,” Leeds says. One of the first checkoff-supported research programs at ISU was the

soybean breeding program, says Steve Julius, who was on the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board, the state’s checkoff board, in 1987. It merged with the Iowa Soybean Association (non-checkoff) board in 2005. “The Iowa board from day one was supporting [ISU researcher] Walt Fehr and the soybean breeding program at Iowa State,” Julius says. That program flourished on campus and expanded to include a presence in Puerto Rico. It allowed ISU faculty and staff to raise two soybean crops in a single year, which sped up soybean breeding and genetics research, Tylka says.

CE LEBRATING 55 Y E ARS | 17


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

With ISA’s support, ISU was one of the first universities in the U.S. to have two faculty members researching soybean cyst nematode (SCN). Tylka started researching this yield-robbing plant-parasitic roundworm at ISU in 1990, and Thomas Baum joined ISU as a molecular SCN researcher in 1995. Since then, he’s been working to combat SCN through plant genetic resistance to complement agronomic management practices. Checkoff funding helped researchers look for SCN resistance in soybean lines and propagate those to make germplasm

significant projects was Fehr’s work with soybean oil, trying to develop oils more stable for the cooking industry. “We were crushing soybeans for meal for feed, but there was excess oil that we couldn’t find a home for, and it was always a drag on the soybean market,” Julius says. With demand for soybean cooking oil waning, they knew there had to be another way they could use soybean oil. “We started doing basic research on how Walt Fehr the oil could be refined and cleaned so it would work for diesel engines,” Julius says. That work was a major impetus for biodiesel. ISU researchers, with funding through the soybean checkoff, showed biodiesel could meet various government and fuel industry standards, Julius says. Researchers showed biodiesel could work in a variety of diesel engines. “Biodiesel was in its infancy, and Iowa was really a pioneer in getting it started. Other states joined the effort to develop and promote biodiesel,” Julius says. Increasing biodiesel production created more demand for soy oil. Today, biodiesel adds about 63 cents to the price of soybeans for farmers. And it all started with checkoff-funded research, Julius notes. “The soybean checkoff has been instrumental in helping producers find new markets for their crop and by

BETTER TOGETHER available to soybean breeders. That germplasm was incorporated into their breeding programs for commercial products farmers could plant. “It paid dividends to soybean producers all over the state and the Midwest to have access to germplasm to combat the growth of cyst nematodes,” says Julius, who farms near Barnum. At that time, one of the more 18 | C E L E B RAT I NG 5 5 Y EAR S

giving all of us access to new diseaseresistant lines for our fungal diseases,” he says. “And much of it was paid for and administered by the farmers themselves.” There have been a whole host of research programs and projects funded through the checkoff, Leeds says. As part of the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), ISA

checkoff dollars went toward the first fully integrated, multi-institutional, multi-state project using crop modeling in a large yield project. Because of farmers’ investment in the checkoff and the vision of the NCSRP board, there were management strategies in place to combat white mold before the disease made its way to the state. That’s just one of many examples, he says. “We’ve never been satisfied waiting for a researcher to come to us. In most cases, it’s through dialogue and strategic planning that we determine those emerging issues and then work with the best researchers to handle those issues,” Leeds says.

Research Center The Iowa Soybean Research Center (ISRC) was created in 2014 as a way to further enhance collaborative, strategic discussions between the private sector, farmers and university researchers, says Ed Anderson, senior director of research at ISA. The ISRC is one of six soybean research centers across the nation. Research at the center often provides the preliminary data and proof-of-concept work from which private companies and institutions derive new technologies and products for farmers. The center has helped further soybean research not only in the state, but the nation, says Keith Smith, who worked for the American Soybean Association as the director of research. He oversaw research projects through several states’ checkoff programs. He and his wife, Ginny, recently donated money to the center to support a communications staff person. “It’s so important that the results that researchers generate through the Iowa Soybean Research Center are communicated to farmers and accepted by farmers,” Smith says. “To me, that’s one of the real opportunities that we have — working closely through the center to make sure industry, researchers


INVESTING CHECKOFF DOLLARS

and farmers are on the same page and working cooperatively to improve soybean production.” The ISRC reflects the changing approach to research, Leeds says. Instead of a binned and siloed approach — researchers working separately on specific topics — there’s a much more coordinated effort. “Today, there’s leverage to our dollars across state boundaries, across institutions and with other agencies and funding sources to support projects that have much more impactful results,” he says.

ISA research ISA-supported research takes a farmer-focused approach, Anderson says. “Our primary focus has been on farmers, and it will always be on farmers,” he says. The ISA’s On-Farm Network®, as an example, focuses on production field-scale research projects to help farmers better understand the agronomics and cropping system parameters, which help them make better management decisions. “We work with farmers to do the work, collect and analyze the data and turn it back over to them

as information. Then they make the decisions on the most cost-effective practices and products for their operation’s productivity, profitability and sustainability,” Anderson says. The ISA’s Environmental Programs and Services team helps farmers understand more about soil health, nutrient management, soil preservation and water quality. The ISA Analytics team supports both ISA research teams with experimental design, agronomic research and the collection, management, interpretation and reporting of results and information. All ISA research teams build and maintain collaborations with farmers, university researchers and company representatives to mine and apply data and information to benefit farmers, advance research, and drive the soybean industry forward. The coordinated, multidisciplinary approach within ISA and with ISU and others will continue to be important to Iowa soybean farmers and the industry, Leeds says. Contact Bethany Baratta at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

There’s always an emerging soybean issue or opportunity, and we must always be prepared. All farmers want to be able to produce a high-quality, abundant crop, and we must continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with ISU and others to address those challenges. — KIRK LEEDS, CEO, Iowa Soybean Association

STEVE JULIUS

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FAMILY HISTORY

THREE GENERATIONS TALK CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITY

BY BETHANY BARATTA

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or six generations, the Bardole family in Rippey has weathered all sorts of challenges in farming. They’ve not only been able to keep their century farms intact, but they’ve also done so with an emphasis on doing things better. “Dad always tried to reach for a way to farm better. Better for us, better for the soil, better for the water. That was the theme: How do I do it better?” says Roy Bardole. Roy passed that same thinking on to his sons, Pete and Tim, who came back to the family farm in the 1990s.

Since then, they’ve implemented a variety of practices — like a no-till cropping system and cover crops — to help preserve the soils. Today, Tim’s son, Schyler, the sixth generation on the family’s farm, is using a drone to scout the family’s fields and better analyze the nutrient needs from farm to farm.

The real challenges All six generations have faced one common challenge, Roy says. “How do you make it profitable?”

It’s never been easy making money while farming, Roy says, noting that his father farmed during the Great Depression. Roy was farming during the farm crisis if the 1980s. “In the 80s, the bank tried to foreclose on us. If there was a most difficult time in agriculture for me that was it. To think that great granddad, granddad and dad farmed the land and made a go of it. And when I started farming, I was going to lose it. I cannot tell you how deeply that cuts you,” Roy says.

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v From Left: Tim, Schyler & son Adam, Roy Bardole.

SCHYLER, 26 They’ve always looked toward the future — whether it was dad, grandpa or great grandpa. All of those things they’ve done have allowed me to be where I am, and I want to make sure I can do that for the coming generations. I want to be proactive, not reactive and that starts now.

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They were able to sell an 80-acre field that wasn’t part of the family’s century farms to a brother. The family continues to farm it today. Tim and Pete farmed through the downturns in the market during the 1990s. “It was right after the 80s, and things were tight. It was a struggle to make enough to live on,” Tim recalls. They added more sows and grew their farrow-to-finish hog operation, which supported their crop enterprises. Slowly, they were able to buy and rent more farmland. “That gave Pete and me a cushion,” Tim says. “We actually made money.”

Tragedy strikes Schyler grew up doing hog chores and working on the farm, but the thought of farming with his dad, his uncle and his grandfather wasn’t at the top of his mind until

he was a student at Central College in Pella. Then, he figured it would take 10 years to get his start in farming. In 2013, Schyler’s future father-in-law, Wayne King, lost his life in a farming accident. King’s daughter, Lauren, now Schyler’s wife, was interested in farming. The couple purchased 95 acres of the family’s century farm in Adaza, north of Churdan. Today, they farm an additional 205 acres. “It’s unfortunate how we were able to get our start, but my wife and I are very happy that we have this opportunity,” he says. Those acres are also part of a century farm. In total, the Bardoles farm three Iowa century farms. And not unlike his family’s acres, Schyler has seen challenging weather — from drought to deluge — and fluctuating market conditions.


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Some things really do stay the same, Tim says. “Working is the easy part. It’s trying to make everything pencil out that’s hard,” says Tim, president-elect of the Iowa Soybean Association.

Making it work Each generation has relied on diversification as a way to support its crop operations. The family raised livestock, did some custom trucking, grain hauling and custom extruding. Today, the family does custom strip-till, spraying, cover crop seeding and harvesting. They’re also adding hog barns to the farm. It’s a way to provide an opportunity for the seventh generation — Schyler and Lauren’s 15-month-old son, Adam. “I looked at a variety of things — everything from raising crickets to buffalo, but through research I found that raising

hogs was the best option for us,” Schyler says. The barns are expected to be filled this summer. He’s not only thinking of it as an opportunity for him but like his dad and five other generations of the Bardole family, he’s considering the next generation. “I want to make sure that I farm and prepare in a way that if my son Adam or any other kids we might have will be able to consider farming,” Schyler says. “If they don’t want to, that’s their choice. But, I don’t want the lack of opportunity to be the barrier of why they don’t farm.” Despite the challenges, Schyler is optimistic about farming's future. “It doesn’t matter how bad or how good it gets, there’s always next year,” he says. “That’s how I look at it, and that’s how dad, grandpa, great grandpa and greatgreat grandpa all did it.” Contact Bethany Baratta at bbaratta@iasoybeans.com.

FAMILY HAS ALWAYS BEEN IMPORTANT. WE WERE ALWAYS WELCOMED IN THE FARM

TIM, 51 As soon as Pete and I came back to the farm, we were part of the discussions and management decisions. It wasn’t just dad or grandpa making the decisions, everybody had a say. It’s the same with Schyler. We make decisions together. He’s young and just starting, but he has the same vote as the rest of us. You’re more than just an employee, you’re a part of it.

ROY, 75

OPERATIONS. I STARTED SAYING I WAS GOING TO FARM AS SOON AS I COULD TALK, AND OBVIOUSLY IT WAS ACCEPTED. I HAD ALL KINDS OF IDEAS GROWING UP. I DON’T THINK DAD EVER SAID, ‘NO, YOU CAN’T DO THAT.

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BY LAUREN HOUSKA

BRIAN WADDINGHAM

A HELPING HAND

THE COALITION TO SUPPORT IOWA’S FARMERS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF SERVING IOWA FARM FAMILIES

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eing proactive means being reactive — ahead of time. That’s why farmers from Iowa’s agriculture commodity groups joined 15 years ago to create the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF).

The idea “In the early 2000s, the industry saw immense changes, and there was real concern that modern Iowa agriculture was under significant attack,” Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) CEO Kirk Leeds says. As founding chairman, Leeds has served on the CSIF board of directors since the organization’s inception. “When farmers sought to expand

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BY LAUREN HOUSKA

their livestock operations, they saw substantial division and pushback not just near urban or suburban areas, but in rural farming communities, as well,” he recalls. Misinformation spread by extreme activist groups took a toll on Iowa’s livestock industry. As livestock farmers hurt, Iowa soybean farmers felt the pain, too. “As we like to say at ISA, our customers are real pigs,” Leeds says. “Livestock production has a significant impact on the continued profitability of Iowa soybean growers.” Funded by ISA, third-party research revealed that Iowans’ attitudes about agriculture in the state were less than

supportive. This solidified the desire of the commodity organizations to form CSIF in 2004 to actively combat misinformation.

The mission As a confidential, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, CSIF helps farmers navigate livestock facility siting, complex rules and regulations, and neighbor and community relations. The organization has provided support to more than 4,500 Iowa farmers — at no cost. “One of the first questions farmers ask us is: ‘How are you funded?’” says Brian Waddingham, executive director for CSIF. “We’re proud to tell them their checkoff dollars or membership


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dues pay for our services through the support of Iowa’s commodity organizations.” In his nine years with CSIF, Waddingham can count on one hand the number of times a board member from the commodity associations has missed a meeting. “It shows they care about and believe in our mission,” he says. “That continued support helps give the organization credibility with farmers.” Waddingham says the main reason farmers call remains the same as 15 years ago. “They want help understanding and complying with the hundreds of typed, single-spaced pages of local, state and federal rules and regulations applicable to families who raise livestock,” he explains. But complying with rules and regulations is just one part of the equation. Neighbor and community relations are vital. “Farmers have become increasingly proactive rather than reactive,” Waddingham says. “They want to minimize environmental impact and have positive relationships with their neighbors.”

The future “While the agriculture industry still has its critics, there’s no doubt we have made significant progress here in Iowa,” Leeds

says. “CSIF’s work has played a critical role in helping the livestock sector, particularly pork, continue to grow in Iowa while some other regions have seen slow or stagnant growth.” Animal agriculture holds steady as the largest consumer of soybean meal in Iowa. The state is the nation’s leader in soybean meal usage at 2.9 million tons in 2017 — 75 percent of which was fed to Iowa’s 50 million hogs, according to the United Soybean Board’s annual soybean meal demand assessment. With evolving production practices, new technology and a population increasingly interested in where their food comes from, Iowa’s livestock farmers have seen many changes in the last 15 years — and they’ll likely see many more in the next 15. “As the agriculture industry in Iowa evolves, there are many growth opportunities to help diversify operations and bring young people back to the farm,” Waddingham says. “The Coalition will continue to evolve our programs and resources to help Iowa’s farm families raise livestock successfully and responsibly.” Farm families wanting a helping hand can contact the Coalition at (800) 932-2436. Contact Lauren Houska at lhouska@iasoybeans.com.

BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR IS GOOD BUSINESS

BRUCE WESSLING We originally got in touch with CSIF for help siting a hog barn 10 years ago. They are great at helping farmers communicate with their neighbors before work starts and throughout the process. Plus, they can help make your expansion plans better by making suggestions you never considered. We also became the first farmers to plant a vegetative environmental buffer within their Green Farmstead Partner program. The vegetation makes the site look better, plus it’s an effective way to mitigate odor — something neighbors have come to expect of livestock farmers. — BRUCE AND JENNY WESSLING, Greene County

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DEMANDING ATTENTION NEMATODES STEALING BUSHELS, REVENUE BY AARON PUTZE, APR

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ith soybean prices under continued pressure and farm inputs remaining stubbornly high, farmers are looking for every opportunity to boost yields and income this growing season. One opportunity may be difficult to see but is right under their noses, stealing productivity and sales. “Nematodes are eating your profits,” says farmer Ron Heck of Perry. “If they eat five bushels per acre a year, that means they’re consuming an entire crop every 10 years.” The scourge of soybean cyst nematodes (SCN) has been well documented. But the pest’s negative impact to the bottom line is increasingly ignored and underestimated, argue those in the know. “A dirty little secret is that there was a time in the 1990s when managing the nematode in the short term was easy,” says Iowa State University (ISU) professor and nematologist Greg Tylka. “Well, that was yesterday.”

Counts on the rise Fast forward 30 years and nematode reproduction and populations are on the rise. “There are two types of farmers in the Midwest,” Tylka says. “Those who are worried about SCN and those who should be.” Heck and Tylka offered their warnings and call-to-action during a panel discussion focused on the income-robbing pest held earlier this year at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida. Joining them in the conversation were Auburn University plant pathologist Kathy Lawrence, Albert Tenuta, plant pathologist for the Ontario (Canada) Ministry of Agriculture and farmers Kip Roberson and Pat Duncanson of North Carolina and Minnesota, respectively. Rising populations and resistance spells trouble for farmers and the soybean industry, panelists said.

Greg Tylka, Iowa State University

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“The nematode is adapting to and overcoming resistance while soybean yields of SCN-resistant varieties are trending lower,” says Tylka, who also serves as director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center at ISU. “Added together, the impact could be a loss of 10-15 bushels per acre. That’s profound when considering this situation is quite likely typical for farmers throughout the Midwest.”


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Panelists agree that admitting and identifying the presence of SCN is what makes it so difficult to manage. A farmer growing 60-bushel soybeans, for example, may be pleased with the output. Therefore, they’re not as inclined to ask what went wrong despite the potential to harvest 70-bushel soybeans per acre if nematode populations were suppressed. “Some growers are aware they have an issue,” says Lawrence. “But it usually takes a yield loss – and a rather severe one – for them to start looking to find out why.”

Start sampling Lawrence and other panelists urged farmers to start sampling nematode populations this spring as soon as field conditions allow. And farmers who have been sampling should do so more often – at least every two years. “Act now,” urges Tylka. “It’s easier to keep low numbers low than drive high numbers down.” In addition to taking the test, farmers can also beat the pest by: 1. Rotating crops whenever possible (including a cover crop). Doing so stunts the buildup of SCN populations. 2. Scouting fields and sampling frequently throughout the fields. “Just because you have a test and don’t see it doesn’t mean they aren’t somewhere else,” Heck says. 3. Rotating SCN-resistant soybean varieties by substituting Peking varieties for PI88788 soybeans. 4. Never assuming. Farmers often admit that they noticed “something was going on” in field locations where there were unaccounted yield losses, says Tenuta. “When you see stunted plants that have the visual symptoms, you’re already observing a 20-25 percent yield loss.” Heck adds, “It’s

Soybean plants used for soybean cyst nematode research in an Iowa State University greenhouse provide researchers the opportunity to conduct experiments year-round while searching for an answer to the yield-robbing nematodes.

not iron chlorosis. It’s not sour dirt. Take the test and stop blaming other things.”

6. Do something more than you have been doing. “We’re also using cover crops,” Ducanson says. “We still have some things to learn. Our goal is to get something to grow in March and April to get more residue and stubble and biomass when our soils are very susceptible to heavy rains. We’re hopeful there will be a positive impact on SCN, too.”

issues with SCN can be mitigated if you pay attention and work at it. “We saw real problems on acres we began farming that had been planted continually to soybeans. In some parts of the field, we had bare ground with just a stalk,” he says. “We knew we had to make a change, so we began rotating crops and planting cover crops. “We had nematode populations decrease dramatically and now have good soybean stands in places where we didn’t have soybeans,” he says. “We’re proof that you can manage the pest.” Despite the availability of several management options and some onfarm successes in battling the pest, Tylka says more work is needed. He urges farmers to call on seed companies to breed additional soybean varieties resistant to SCN. “Through your (soybean) checkoff investments, there are breakthroughs. But a critical gap remains between the university scientists and seed companies,” Tylka says. “Industry needs to hear directly from farmers to truly understand the value in investing in these new technologies to better manage SCN.”

Roberson, the North Carolina farmer, says he’s living proof that

Contact Aaron Putze at aputze@iasoybeans.com.

5. Using seed treatments to help reduce soybean stress. “Don’t let your soybeans get the flu,” says Heck, who first discovered SCN in the early 1990s and measured counts as high as 30,000. “Make your soybeans happy and they’ll perform better.” Ducanson agrees. “As seed treatments have become available, we’ve been aggressively using them,” he says. “Every soybean we planted in 2018 had a seed treatment and helped us manage SCN populations more successfully.”

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BLOCKCHAIN IN AGRICULTURE DELIVERING VALUE TO FARMERS BY JOSEPH L. MURPHY

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ore and more, blockchain is becoming a buzzword. Years ago, it was associated with the instability of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Today, farmers and agribusinesses are realizing it could be the business tool for the future. According to experts speaking at an educational session at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida, the biggest obstacle for agriculture’s entry into the blockchain is leaving the pencil and paper behind. “Agriculture is one of the least digitized sectors,” says Mark Pryor, chairman and CEO of The Seam. “That presents a real challenge. We also have data silos that benefit only one company.”

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But Pryor says every once in a while a technology comes along that revolutionizes the system. He believes blockchains are that technology. Simply put, a blockchain is an openly distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. “A blockchain provides the single version of the truth between multiple Luis Macias competing parties in the supply chain,” Pryor says. A blockchain has multiple characteristics. They are rules-based, distributed in real-time, permissioned and can’t be changed. “Participants can interact with each

other with full trust that the agreement will execute on-time, and as agreed upon no matter if you know the person or have ever done business with them,” says Luis Macias, CEO of Grainchain. “They could be located in Africa, China, Morocco or anywhere in the globe.” Before massive adoption can take place, some hurdles have to be overcome. Pryor says that among individuals and companies, the basic terminology of farming could be different. As an example, in the shipping industry one company may call a ship a vessel. Another company may call it a boat or a conveyance and on and on. “We are starting to see ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Dreyfus form a partnership


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that investigates standardizing and digitizing global agriculture transactions,” Pryor says. “They have recognized they aren't speaking the same language.” For blockchains to work, the terminology has to be defined and agreed upon by all parties involved. Pryor says it is leading to “coopetition” or collaboration between business competitors for mutual and beneficial results. What does all this mean for individual farmers? It improves accuracy, transparency, efficiency and trust. Those factors can help farmers navigate and negotiate the narrow margins that exist in farming today, according to the panelists. “With razor-thin margins, we need to figure out how to enhance our marketing opportunities,” Macias says. “How do we market our products the way we deserve and use the empowerment of data to make more money?” To do that, Marcias started Grainchain, a company built from the blockchain platform utilizing suites of software products designed to increase efficiencies for farmers. “We are providing the technology to level the playing field for the smallto-medium-size farmer to be able to compete at the levels that ADM, Bunge, Cargill and others do,” he says.

Macias says Grainchain provides the farmer two distinct advantages: It gives them the ability to market grain so they can negotiate a better price, and it creates a system that allows them to trust others from around the world with their paid contracts. The person buying the farmers’ grain will know precisely where it came from, how it was put together and the path it took to get to them. “We've developed a system that will pay you instantly when you drop your grain off,” Macias says. With complete trust in the blockchain, farmers will be more open to accepting contracts outside of their normal trading areas that may offer better premiums. “Once you get used to that, you can venture out into markets that you never would’ve have considered before,” Macias says. “This technology ensures the funds are there when you drop off your grain, directly to your bank account without the fear of the other party backing out of the contract.” Blockchains are only as good as the information entered, according to experts. Macias says individual entry of data needs to be removed. Systems are already in place to grade and measure grain. That data will be added to the blockchain for each transaction.

“The combination of our systems creates an environment where nearly 99 percent of data is entered by systems and not people,” he says. The final piece of their software suite manages the trucks going to farmers’ fields, tracking where they went and what they picked up. This provides an authentic dataset that genuinely shows where it came from. That data is used to pay the truck driver for the route taken and the cost of maintaining the fleet of trucks used to transport the products. According to Grainchain’s website, they have already logged 84,410 transactions with more than 5.3 billion pounds of commodities processed. In the future, blockchains will also have implications in food safety traceability, identity preservation, certification of sustainability practices and more. “At the end of the day we have an infrastructure that changes the way we are doing business,” Marcias says. “We’ve got customers right now that are going from the field to the end producers. So when that tortilla chip goes in your mouth, you can authentically know where it came from.” Contact Joseph L. Murphy at jmurphy@iasoybeans.com.

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IOWA'S SOYBEANS FEED THE STATE'S LIVESTOCK More than 116 million bushels of soybeans are fed annually to more than 22 million hogs and pigs in the state. On average, each hog eats about 138.5 pounds of meal crushed from 2.9 bushels of soybeans. Hog production statewide utilizes, on average, 2.8 million tons of soybean meal annually. Raising pigs in Iowa is good for the Iowa soybean farmer. That's just one reason the Iowa Soybean Association is a proud, founding member of the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers.

To find out how the Coalition can help you at no cost, visit SupportFarmers.com 1.800.932.2436


The Last Word Editor’s Notes by Ann Clinton aclinton@iasoybeans.com

The Seeds of the Future

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s I sit down to write this column, I am at the little farmhouse near Massena where I spend as many weekends as time allows. My family and I have been working outside all day getting the garden ready for planting. Although it was so cold we could see our breath, it felt good to move rocks and pull weeds. No doubt my muscles will ache tomorrow, but my heart feels so much gratitude for the opportunity to get dirty. We are hardly experts, but the garden is our little piece of heaven. It’s where my children have learned about the magic of the seasons and have experienced a more meaningful way of living. We pour over seed catalogs and research ways to improve soil quality but, honestly, we just love to watch things grow. I don’t care how old you are – when a sprout appears from where you have placed a seed; it’s simply awesome. This issue of the Iowa Soybean Review is celebrating the accomplishments of the Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA)

last 55 years. As the editorial team created content for this special edition of the magazine, I couldn’t help but feel pride. The association’s founding farmers were ingenious and enterprising, but there is no way they could have foreseen the incredible future they were creating on behalf of Iowa agriculture. They planted a seed of hope that has yielded a harvest of opportunity for soybeans. Symbolic of ISA’s rich history, we highlighted the anniversary section of this issue with emerald green. We hope you run your fingers over the beautiful soybean plant on the cover and contemplate the humbling beginnings of the association. But more importantly, it is our intention for you to recognize the incredible future on the horizon. Agriculture has seen some tough seasons lately, but what lies before us is even more exciting than the path that has been plowed. As for my family and I, we will soon be headed back to the city as the weekend comes to a

close. We’ll be anxious to make the drive to the farm again, prepared to sow seeds into the beautiful, little piece of optimism we call our garden. Congratulations to all of Iowa’s soybean growers on 55 years and thank you for what you do. I am humbled and inspired by your vision and dedication. May your rains this growing season be well-timed.

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Iowa Soybean Review, Spring 2019