Press Release

Illinois Soybean Farmers Fine Tune Strategic Plan for the Future

February 15, 2016



Illinois Soybean Farmers Fine Tune Strategic Plan for the Future


BLOOMINGTON, ILL – February 15, 2016 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) board of directors recently refined and approved its strategic direction through the year 2020. 


"Building off our strategic advancements of the last few years, we fine-tuned our goal for ISA to achieve maximum profitability and global competitive positioning for Soy from Illinois," says Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and ISA chairman.  "Our targeted result remains utilizing 600 million bushels of Illinois soybeans by 2020."


"The last five years have been some of the best in our industry's history.  We know the next few years will be more challenging, but also will offer huge potential for development," says ISA CEO Craig Ratajczyk.  "Rethinking our strategies and goals and developing the next five-year strategic plan has been a number one priority for the board."


ISA previously categorized soybean checkoff-funded project opportunities by priority area, including animal agriculture, transportation, yield, composition and profitability, freedom to operate and organizational excellence.  The new strategic plan shifts the focus to the audiences ISA serves; customers in the marketplace, Illinois soybean farmers, stakeholders and influencers and internal organizational excellence.


More specifically, the objectives for each of these four areas are as follows:

  • Marketplace -- to promote marketplace preference of Illinois soy for export markets, biodiesel and animal agriculture. 
  • Farmer profitability -- to optimize farmer profitability through business management, yield and sustainable production practices. 
  • Stakeholder value -- to expand the influence and reach of ISA through member, corporate, industry and advocacy efforts that positively impact Illinois soybean farmers; and to ensure Illinois soybeans and products reach their intended destinations efficiently.
  • Organizational excellence -- to increase effective, progressive leadership.


"Continuous improvement is a mainstay in our planning and implementation efforts.  Now more than ever, the incorporation of data and new technologies are integral to successful and economically sustainable operations," says Cates.  "Through numerous outreach efforts and engagements with customers, stakeholders, influencers and farmers, we are confident we will positively affect Illinois soybean producer competitiveness and prosperity."


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean 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