Illinois Soybean Association Wins Governor’s Export Award for Agriculture


BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – December 7, 2016 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) on Tuesday was awarded the 2016 Agricultural Business Exporter Award, presented by Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Trade and Investment.  The award is given for outstanding export achievement in the field of agricultural products, services and technology.


“We are so pleased to receive this recognition,” says Doug Schroeder, ISA secretary and soybean farmer from Mahomet, Ill. “Sixty percent of the soybeans grown in Illinois are exported each year with a value estimated at $3 billion. It is for this reason that we work so hard to promote preference of Illinois soy. We increase export markets using our strategic advantage of rail, road and waterways that many other states do not have.”


ISA increases the volume of Illinois soy exports through hosting trade team visits, one-on-one consultations, trade missions, market research and development, and technical assistance.  ISA works closely with state agencies and national groups to promote soy from Illinois.


The award was voted on by a panel of experts and presented by the lieutenant governor at the Union League of Chicago. The Agricultural Business Exporter Award is one of several awards honoring export leaders in Illinois. Other awards given included: Exporter of the Year, New Exporter, Service Exporter and Export Awareness and Development.  ISA previously won the Export Award for Agriculture in 2011.


“Soybeans were the number three export in Illinois in 2015, and are positioned to be even higher in 2016 thanks to a larger-than-usual crop,” says Craig Ratajczyk, ISA CEO. “To get soybeans to market, we understand the importance of partnering with a multitude of organizations from local grain elevators to final customers and everyone in between in the value chain.  It is only by working together that we have achieved the successes we’ve experienced for us all.”


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C., through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website



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Amy Roady



Photo caption: ISA Secretary Doug Schroeder accepts the 2016 Agricultural Business Exporter Award at the Union League of Chicago Tuesday evening. Pictured from L-R: Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti; Schroeder, Jim Schultz, CEO of Intersect Illinois; and Brittany Ladd, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity