Illinois Soybean Leaders Remember Dwain Ford's Leadership


BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – Aug.11, 2015 -- This week, members of the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) remember Dwain Ford, Kinmundy, Ill., who passed away Aug. 10.  Ford was a true statesman, having served Illinois soybean farmers during three decades.


Ford served on the Land of Lincoln Soybean Association from 1991-2000, and was chairman from 1997-1998.  He was president of the American Soybean Association (ASA) from 2002-2003.  In December 2014, he was elected secretary of the United Soybean Board (USB), having served on that board for more than six years.


Ford had a lasting impression on those Illinois leaders who worked with him:


"We lost a great leader.  Dwain was a wealth of knowledge and a great supporter of soybeans. Our thoughts are with his family and his friends," says Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and current ISA chairman.


"Dwain was a true gentleman and always had soybean farmer interests first in his heart.  His knowledge and experience gave him great insight into issues and projects important to soybean farmers.  He was a fantastic advocate for soybeans," says Ron Moore, Roseville, who served as ISA chairman from 2009 to 2011.


"Dwain's knowledge of the soybean industry and his years of experience made him an influential leader and valuable resource for me and for ISA.  His positive relationships with people in Illinois, the U.S. and around the world have helped to shape the success of today's soybean industry. I also consider him a great friend and a wonderful guy," says Bill Wykes, Yorkville, who served as ISA chairman from 2012 to 2013.


"When you ask today's ISA directors, they say Ford was the perfect example of lifelong leadership.  He had a huge impact on the ag industry and its people," says Bill Raben, Ridgway, who served as ISA chairman from 2013 to 2015.


"Soybean farmers have lost one of their great leaders and champions.  Beyond my dad, I always considered Dwain the greatest mentor I ever had," says Doug Winter, Mill Shoals, who served on the United Soybean Board with Ford.


Dwain and his wife, Melba, co-owned and operated the family farm and M&D Seed Company in southern Illinois where they produced and marketed soybeans, corn and wheat.  Their family includes son, Shannon; his wife, Misty; son, Ryan; his wife, Carrie; and many grandchildren.


The Illinois Soybean Association represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state checkoff and membership efforts.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  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



For more information, contact:

Amy Roady