Last Day to Register for Kellogg Leadership Experience

The Illinois Agriculture Leadership Program (IALP) partners with the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University to provide advanced leadership education. That learning experience will be offered as a seminar Jan. 16-18, 2017, at a discounted cost through IALP.  Topics include innovation, why family businesses are different and transitioning from family business to enterprising family. The registration deadline is today.  For more information, contact Todd Lowery, Advanced Leadership and Alumni Director for the Illinois Agriculture Leadership Foundation.

ISA Hires Director of Industry Relations

ISA announces Jayma Appleby as new director of industry relations effective Sept. 1. Appleby will represent the soybean checkoff focusing on stakeholder relationships, outreach and influence for ISA throughout the state and nationally. Appleby comes to ISA in an agreement with FLM+, where she served as a senior public relations manager working across multiple checkoff programs. She grew up on a fourth generation farm in Iowa and is a graduate of Iowa State University. Appleby’s position fits into a new strategic plan for ISA, with a slate of projects focusing on stakeholders, farmers and end customers. The stakeholder section of the strategic plan works to expand the influence and reach of ISA through member, corporate, industry and advocacy efforts that positively impact Illinois soybean farmers. This new plan coincides with a board-approved Chicago office, where Appleby will be based.

ISA Selects Nine Leaders for Soy Ambassador Program

The ISA checkoff and membership program announced its new leadership class of Soy Ambassadors. With its largest group of applicants yet, nine are joining the program.  During the next two years, the ambassadors will take part in opportunities to gain leadership expertise, industry exposure and a global soy perspective. The 2016-17 Soy Ambassadors are Zach Bailey, Louisville, Ill.; Maria Cox, White Hall, Ill.; Luke Crawford, Arenzville. Ill.; Scott Gaffner, Greenville, Ill.; Kent Lock, Avon, Ill.; David Murphy, Dunlap, Ill.; Matt Pence, Milford, Ill.; Andrew Roselius, Onarga, Ill.; and Court White, Jacksonville, Ill.

USB Appointments Increase to 73 Directors

The United Soybean Board (USB) will grow from 70 to 73 directors this winter to represent soybean production growth in Missouri, New Jersey and Wisconsin.  New and returning farmer-leaders, including Dan Farney and Doug Winter from Illinois, will be sworn in at USB’s annual meeting in St. Louis Dec. 9.  All appointees were nominated by their Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs) and confirmed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Sept. 26 to direct soy checkoff funds into research, marketing and promotion efforts that increase soybean farmer profitability. ISA encourages farmers of all ages and backgrounds to get involved with soybean leadership at all levels. Visit the website for more information.

Northern Illinois Dietetic Students Tour Farms

Northern Illinois University third-year dietetic students toured a hog farm and a beef farm as part of Illinois Farm Families’ effort to reach influencers. The students met with pig farmer Steve Ward and his veterinarian and ventured through hog barns while asking questions about genetics, feed, sanitation, hormones/antibiotics and safety standards. At the cattle farm, Alan Adams passed around antibiotics, hormones and feed buckets, and took students into barns to talk about housing and animal welfare. Post-survey results revealed students found it very useful meeting farmers and had a lot of questions answered. “I loved hearing the farmers’ perspectives on some of the consumer trends or 'buzz words' that we hear so much from patients," says one. "It's amazing how much misinformation is out there!"

ISA Supports Pig Adventures for Chicago Public School Students

The ISA checkoff program is partnering with Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board and the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation to send fourth and fifth grade Chicago Public School students on the Pig Adventure and Crop Adventure at Fair Oaks Farm in Fair Oaks, Ind. Four different groups will see today’s pig farming firsthand and explore crop farming to learn where they get their food. The first group had their adventure last week, while another group is on their field trip today.  Education builds the trust of students and their families in farmers, and the focus on pig farming supports the top market for soybean meal. Pigs consume 74 percent of the soybean meal fed in Illinois.

Farmer BMPs Improve Illinois Water Quality

Farmers who have implemented best management practices (BMPs) on their farms during the last year have helped reduce nitrate levels in Illinois lakes, according to data from Aqua Illinois. The goal of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS) is to reduce nitrogen loss by 15 percent and phosphorus loss by 25 percent. Farmers can continue to help reduce nutrient loss by following the 4Rs:
  • Right source: Consider using Triple Superphosphate (TSP) as your phosphorus source.
  • Right rate: Use the Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) and soil tests to determine appropriate phosphorus and potassium rates for your fields.
  • Right time: Make sure fertilizer isn't spread on frozen or snow-covered soil (unless for perennial or winter annuals). Wait until soil temperature is below 50 degrees for fall anhydrous applications. Split nitrogen applications to feed crop and reduce risk of excessive nitrogen. Consider further protection from loss with a labeled nitrification or urease inhibitor for spring nitrogen applications.
  • Right Place: Apply phosphorus and potassium right after harvest and before fall tillage to allow them to attach to the soil.

Soil Health Partnership Features Illinois Farmer David Brown

A new video tells the story of change for Illinois farmer David Brown, who farms with his son, Chase, and brother, Joe, in Decatur, Ill. They enrolled in the Soil Health Partnership in 2014. Many remember the Illinois growing season of 2012 as challenging. For David Brown, the drought that year meant he didn’t have enough forage to get his cattle through the winter. That’s when he and Chase decided the answer might be cover crops. That year of success with cover crops sparked their interest in seeing what else was possible, and the pair joined SHP. In July, David participated in a Macon County soil and water strip-till field day to help educate other farmers in the area about cover crops, conservation tillage and nutrient management. Hear more of Dave’s story and the Soil Health Partnership's in the video. You also can read profiles and see last year’s videos of Illinois farmers David Moose and Tim Seifert.

IDOA Schedules Ammonia Equipment Workshops

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is offering ammonia equipment workshops Oct. 4, 5 and 6 in Effingham, Bloomington and Mendota, respectively, from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day at each location. Attendees will learn about requirements of the new Illinois Anhydrous Ammonia Regulations within the industry. The classes are free to attend. Call IDOA at 217-782-3817 to register. Walk-ins also are welcome. Click here for a schedule and more information.

Department Drafts Pollinator Protection Plan

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA), Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and other interested groups are preparing a voluntary plan to protect pollinators in Illinois and improve pollinator habitat. Hive owners, farmers and pesticide applicators must be in good communication with one another to protect bees. FieldWatch is a program that includes both Driftwatch and BeeCheck, and is a free, online tool allowing pesticide applicators to register anonymously on the site and receive an email notification of hives and specialty crops in the area. To learn more, visit FieldWatch.

National Biodiesel Board Reviews Resolutions

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) will complete its annual review and update to the organization’s resolutions and position handbook Nov. 14-16 during its membership meeting in St. Louis. NBB uses the information to assist with representing membership interests, including soybean farmers.

ISG Takes New Direction for Policy Engagement

How do you keep Capitol Hill from impacting income to support your family? Beginning next month, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) will focus more on policy issues affecting Illinois soybean farmers to keep positive legislation in place and motivate leaders to ensure American agriculture remains strong. One of the core resources that makes America great is the ability to produce our own food and fuel.  
Becoming an ISG member is easy. To bring Illinois soybean growers the most value possible, we now have two membership options. Membership in the American Soybean Association (ASA) also is included.
  1. Become an ISG Policy Member and take a stand. Activate your power to join in educating people about the facts and importance of American agriculture. Help be the people that government officials stop and listen to in Springfield and Washington, D.C. Be a driving force for change in American agriculture. The more members we add, the louder our voice becomes. Policy membership keeps you informed, gets you involved and gives you discounts and benefits. A one-year membership is $150 and a three-year membership is $300. Benefits will be announced at a later date.
  2. Become an ISG Regular Member if you just want to stay informed about the agriculture industry. Simply supply your name and email address and you receive the Soybean Weekly Update sent via email and the Illinois Field & Bean magazine (eight times per year).
Contact Judy Smith at, 309-808-3612 or 888-826-4011 to join or renew membership.

Help Turn up the Volume with ISGPAC

As the 2016 general election season is in full swing, Illinois soybean farmers are invited to turn up the volume with the Illinois Soybean Growers Political Action Committee (ISGPAC). ISGPAC provides farmers with strong involvement in political races, and a direct pipeline to tell senators and representatives about the issues that matter most to Illinois farmers:  transportation efficiency, expanding animal agriculture, worldwide market access support, plus biodiesel, trade, energy, taxes and agricultural research. Farmers can directly 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. To contribute, visit ISGPAC online or contact Judy Smith at 309-808-3612 or

ASA Seeks Scholarship Candidates

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is looking for applicants for its Soy Scholarship. The $5,000, one-time award is presented to a high school senior who plans to pursue agriculture at any accredited college or university in the 2017-18 academic year. The scholarship is managed by ASA and made possible through a grant by BASF Corporation. High school seniors may apply online now through Nov. 21, 2016. The student must be a child or grandchild of a current state affiliate and ASA member, maintain successful academic progress and be in good standing with the college or university to receive the full amount of the scholarship. Final selection will be made in December during the ASA Board meeting. The student will be notified prior to an official announcement made during Commodity Classic in San Antonio, March 2-4, 2017. More information is available from ASA.

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