BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – September 07, 2022 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) today announced its list of FY23 checkoff-funded projects. The projects place Illinois soybean farmers’ profitability as a top priority by growing opportunities for soybean uses, markets, accessibility, and demand.

“Not only are we getting back to our roots in 2023, but we are also spreading our wings,” said ISA Chairman Steve Pitstick. “As an association, we need ensure we stay connected to the needs of Illinois farmers. Our lineup of funded projects in market development, government relations and agronomic utilization will help increase the value, awareness, and opportunities for Illinois soybeans.”

Market Development

The ISA checkoff program will continue to work hard for Illinois farmers to expand existing markets and grow new markets in 2023.

“We have a compelling story to tell about the quality of soybeans we produce in Illinois,” said ISA Director of Market Development Todd Main. “We hope to host buyers from across the globe here in Illinois to better illustrate soybeans’ value and bolster our members’ profit margins.”

Repairing rural bridges and modernizing locks and dams on inland waterways also are examples of the way ISA is continuing efforts to strengthen the transportation network that remains the competitive advantage for Illinois farmers in the global marketplace.

“Illinois is set to receive more than $1 billion in federal funding to build out rural broadband services and ISA is working to ensure rural communities are prepared with plans to secure their share of that funding,” Main said. “We have launched a new collaboration with the United Soybean Board (USB) and the Benton Institute to support developing innovative plans bringing broadband service to rural communities.”

ISA also is exploring greater collaboration and expansion opportunities for domestic and global market expansion by re-engaging with leadership of the poultry, beef, pork, and aquaculture associations.

“One area we believe has significant growth potential and multiple benefits is the food space concentrated in the Chicago area,” said Market Development Committee Chairman, Scott Gaffner. “The concentration of market-leading food companies in our state is an opportunity to not only expand the use of soy as an input but also to combat the unfounded narrative that soy may have some negative health characteristics. We are in the process of developing an informational portal featuring Illinois companies utilizing soy in new and interesting ways.”


The ISA Agronomy Team has set goals to support all in-field agronomic needs, advance soybean management systems to protect and improve soil productivity and water quality, continue to sustainably improve the quality and yield of high performing soybean systems, support soybean farmers’ production by evaluating economics and ROI, and to promote, research, and drive soybean production education.

“ISA will continue to publish crop progress and condition reports from the 2023 Soy Envoys, and hold field days meant to keep farmers up-to-date with in-field agronomic information throughout the 2023 growing season,” said Utilization Committee Chairman Brady Holst. “We also will showcase Illinois soybeans at the 2023 Farm Progress Show.”

“ISA Agronomy is especially looking forward to what’s in store with the Precision Conservation Management program,” said ISA Agronomy Director, Abigail Peterson. “We plan to release guidebooks for carbon and best management practices while also continuing our research.”

Government Relations

Under the direction of Government Relations Committee Chairman, Brad Daugherty, and ISA Director of Government Relations & Strategy, Andrew Larson, the FY23 Government Relations Committee has set its sights on a number of forward-facing goals which include becoming stronger advocates for Illinois farmers in Springfield and Washington; fostering strong relationships with Illinois elected officials; developing robust federal policy for the American Soybean Association; expanding the Illinois Soybean Growers Political Action Committee and the role it plays in advocating for Illinois soybean farmers; promoting the Voice for Soy advocacy network to be a robust grassroots tools connecting farmers with key decision makers; and working with ISA leadership to develop key legislative priorities.

“The ISA Government Relations Committee will leverage a number of upcoming opportunities for the benefit of Illinois soybean farmers, which include ISA board fly-ins to Washington D.C. and advocating training and recruitment drives,” says Larson.  “Were also excited to host an Illinois Soybean Growers lobby day in Springfield and to continue policy development ahead of ASA’s policy sessions as part of the Commodity Classic.”

Some of the key projects on which the Government Relations Committee will focus include expanding non-checkoff work with Michael Torrey & Associates in Washington D.C. to engage more fully on behalf of IL soybean farmers; continuing support for the Midwest Soybean Collaborative; and support for Clean Fuels Alliance America’s state policy and regulatory team working at the state level to advance biofuels.


Under the direction of ISA Communications Director, Rachel Peabody, ISA will continue to communicate the work of checkoff funded projects through multiple communications channels, including 12 issues of Illinois Field & Bean, ISA’s in-house publication going to more than 40,000 farmer mailboxes each issue.

According to Peabody, ISA also allocated $100,000 to Illinois Ag in the Classroom to fund teacher training and professional development, educational materials, teacher grants, county agricultural literacy coalition grants and more.

The ISA Board of Directors approved funding to join other farmer-led organizations involved in the Illinois Farm Families coalition in a year-long campaign celebrating Illinois family farmers and the contributions they make to their communities. The campaign will kick off in spring 2023 with an advertising campaign and will continue with community activations which highlight that 96% of Illinois farms are family-owned and operated. Collaborating partners include the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, and Midwest Dairy.

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability. For more information, visit the website



Published On: September 7, 2022Categories: Latest News, Press ReleasesTags:

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