The American Soybean Association was founded in 1920 and incorporated in 1946 to provide a collective voice for the nation's soybean growers. Today, the organization represents more than 22,000 U.S. soybean growers in policy development and implementation and international market development. ASA is governed by a board of directors that is determined by the number of members from each state association.
ASA policy development begins at the grassroots effort with local growers. Through input to state soybean associations, such as the Illinois Soybean Association, voting delegates from member states meet annually to set policy direction. Policy positions are used by national soybean leaders to lobby lawmakers and provide testimony.
In addition to representation in Washington, D.C., ASA offers leadership development to its members, media outreach, state association relations and works with other soy industry stakeholders to create market opportunities and value for U.S. soybean growers. For more information about ASA, please visit www.soygrowers.com.
The United Soybean Board directs the national soybean checkoff. The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean growers who must contribute 0.5 percent of the market price of each bushel of soybeans sold. USB is made up of 68 volunteer farmer-leaders who are nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, the Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs), which includes the Illinois Soybean Association. Nominees to the board are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
The national soybean checkoff was established in the early 1990s to facilitate soy market development through research and commercialization programs. USB works with the American Soybean Association and the U.S. Soybean Export Council to coordinate efforts that involve legislative action and international markets respectively. To learn more about USB, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council was established in 2005 to represent key stakeholders of the soy industry, including soybean growers, commodity shippers, value-added merchandisers, allied agribusinesses and other ag organizations. The council operates overseas as American Soybean Association-International Marketing (ASA-IM). USSEC's board of directors includes seven ASA directors, seven United Soybean Board directors and five trade, allied industry and state organization directors.
USSEC operates with soybean checkoff dollars from USB and state soybean checkoff boards, industry investment and funding from ASA's cost-share from USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service. USSEC selects the markets and industries overseas that offer the best return on investment for marketing activities and technical assistance. You can learn more about USSEC by visiting www.ussoyexports.org.