Soy Growers Look to White House Task Force on Key Issues

The American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed establishment by the White House of a task force to address the challenges facing America’s farmers.  According to an executive order, the task force will be led by Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to identify policy areas where executive branch agencies can take action to improve economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life for rural America and U.S. farmers.
ASA President Ron Moore, farmer from Roseville, Ill., noted, “It is encouraging President Trump’s executive order recognizes the vital work farmers do for fellow Americans.  By noting specifically that a reliable, safe and affordable food supply is critical to our success and stability as a nation, President Trump sets a firm foundation for future conversations with our industry.  We are confident Secretary Perdue will be a productive and forward-thinking guide for these conversations.  The multiple functions of the task force will help move our industry forward, and specific directives like addressing regulatory barriers farmers face and investing in the infrastructure on which our industry depends will directly address some of our most significant challenges...We want to ensure a constant line of communication between ASA and other farm organizations and the task force so this group can function as effectively and successfully as possible.  We look forward to opportunities to sit down with President Trump, Secretary Perdue and others to provide input on how the task force can best serve soybean farmers.”
Soybeans and Associated Industries Add Value to Illinois Economy
Raising and crushing soybeans and refining soybean oil contributes $17.65 billion in sales output within the Illinois economy, according to the Economic Contribution of the Illinois Soybean Industry.  The report from Informa Economics IEG, funded by the ISA checkoff program, describes the critical importance of soybeans to the state’s economy based primarily on 2016 data.  The soybean value chain contributes $7.48 billion to gross state product (GSP), which measures value added through economic processes.  For Illinois soybeans, that value is added when whole soybeans are crushed and the oil is refined within the state.  Plus, the industry provides more than 57,200 Illinois jobs.  Soybeans support domestic economic growth in Illinois, which improves financial security. 

Become Involved: Participate in ISG’s Political Action Committee

Illinois soybean farmers are invited to participate in the Illinois Soybean Growers Political Action Committee (ISGPAC).  ISGPAC provides farmers with strong involvement in political races, and a direct pipeline to tell legislators about the issues that matter most to Illinois farmers:  transportation efficiency, expanding animal agriculture, worldwide market access support, biodiesel, trade, energy, taxes and ag research.  Farmers directly can support legislators who take a leadership role on soybean priorities and policies.  ISGPAC helps nurture those relationships and keeps key contacts in office where they work for the industry's best interests.  Visit ISGPAC or contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612.

Request Petitions Now for District Director Elections

Petitions are available for growers interested in running for open director positions with the Illinois Soybean Board (ISB).  Petitions can be obtained from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, local University of Illinois Extension offices and the ISB office.  Petitions must be filed by May 15, 2017.


Six Illinois districts will hold director elections this year:
District 1:      Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago
District 5:      Fulton, Knox, Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Tazewell
District 7:      Ford, Iroquois, Vermilion
District 9:      Cass, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon
District 12:    Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Pike, Scott
District 13:    Bond, Fayette, Marion, Montgomery
Due to the tenure provision, as specified in the soybean checkoff program, the director in District 13 (Gary Berg, St. Elmo, Ill.), is not eligible for re-election.  The directors presently serving in District 1 (Paul Rasmussen, Genoa, Ill.), District 5 (Stan Born, Dunlap, Ill.), District 7 (Tom Kentner, Danville, Ill.), District 9 (Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Ill.) and District 12 (Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare, Nebo, Ill.) are each eligible to serve another three-year term. To be eligible to serve as a director, a candidate must be an Illinois resident and a resident grower of the district he or she seeks to represent, of legal voting age and be a contributor to the soybean checkoff. Petitions filed with the Illinois Director of Agriculture must contain signatures from the same given district in which the candidate is seeking office.

Any person deciding to run as a write-in candidate must also meet eligibility requirements, and submit a Declaration of Intent form to the Illinois Director of Agriculture no later than 5 p.m., June 30, 2017. Elections will be held at county extension offices in the districts where vacancies exist on July 6, 2017.

Consider Membership Program Options

To bring farmers the most value possible, Illinois Soybean Growers has two membership options: policy membership and informational membership.  Membership in ASA is included with both options.  Contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612 or 888-826-4011 for more details and to join or renew. 

Share ISA Research to Improve Sustainability on World Tuna Day

May 2 is World Tuna Day, a global event recognized by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate tuna as a species that provides nutritious food and a reminder to protect them.  The ISA checkoff program is working to improve the sustainability of raising tuna with the soy protein feed research highlighted in the short video “Feeding Bluefin.”  To highlight this research on World Tuna Day, watch for and share or retweet ISA posts about the video.  If you haven’t already, check out the video, like it on YouTube, and pass it on.  Replacing fishmeal and fish oil with soy products improves the long-term sustainability of aquaculture and increases soybean demand from this fast-growing industry.

NBB Defends Higher Advanced Biofuel Volumes

In an effort to encourage growth of biodiesel, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) recently argued before a U.S. Court of Appeals regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interpretation of the Renewable Ruel Standard (RFS).  NBB’s position is that the U.S. EPA exceeded its waiver authority in regard to the RFS.  Therefore, the EPA failed to move the advanced biofuel program forward as envisioned by Congress.  NBB hopes its arguments will lead to more aggressive advanced fuel requirements by the EPA.  Read the full news release here.

Your Best Source of Soybean Management Information continues to be your best source of soybean management information.  It provides one place to gather the latest local soybean intelligence.  The online resource includes tools, podcasts, webinars and articles with local tips and recommendations. Too busy to visit  Sign up for the weekly newsletter to get the latest updates in your inbox each Thursday.

Enter the 2017 Yield Challenge and Find Your Edge

Illinois soybean farmers are encouraged to “find their edge” with the 2017 Yield Challenge contest that kicked off this month.  Farmers can enter the 100-Bushel Challenge, Crop District Contest or Side-by-Side Contest.  New this year is a Double-Crop Yield Contest.  There is no early entry form nor entry fee for 2017.  Details can be found here.

Next Week’s Webinar Looks at Nutrition and Tissue Testing

Jason Haegele from WinField United will explain the basics of tissue testing, including nutrient uptake and interaction, sampling methods, sufficiency levels and how to interpret results, in an ILSoyAdvisor webinar, May 3 from 10-11 a.m.  One CEU in crop management is available. Sign up here. Podcasts Available on SoundCloud

From agronomics to conservation and more, soybean farmers now can access podcasts, including Profitability Radio segments.  The podcasts are posted on SoundCloud—a free, easy-to-use online platform with no downloads or installation required.  Listen to podcasts here.

Livestock Resource Guide Clarifies Illinois EPA Rules

A free resource guide clarifies and simplifies the Illinois EPA rules and identifies best management practices for livestock farms.  Swine, beef and dairy versions of the guide use real-world examples for farmers to relate to their farms.  Livestock farmers or those interested in diversifying their farm with livestock can request a free copy of the resource guide from the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Milk Producers’ Association or Illinois Pork Producers Association.

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