Press Release

Illinois Soybean Leaders Offer Input at Global Oilseed Gathering

July 01, 2015



Illinois Soybean Leaders Offer Input at Global Oilseed Gathering


BLOOMINGTON, ILL – July 2, 2015 – Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) leaders played a key role this week during the joint meeting of the International Soybean Growers Alliance (ISGA) and the International Oilseed Production Dialogue (IOPD) in Chicago.  Representatives from 11 countries and the European Union gathered with the goal to coordinate efforts to promote the oilseed industry throughout the world.


The three-day meetings focused on two days of conversation and one day of touring Illinois soybean farms.  Presentations from industry leaders were followed by open conversation about such issues as genetic modification (GM) labeling, pesticide use and government regulations related to farming practices.


ISA CEO Craig Ratajczyk spoke about farming in Illinois and involvement of IOPD in the global marketplace.  "The objective of the IOPD is relevant to the world's oilseed producers because it offers an opportunity for discussion and agreement on common issues such as global market access, trade liberalization, biotechnology acceptance, innovation in agriculture, renewable energy and bio-based products, and sustainability and social license to operate," says Ratajczyk.  "It is important to gather these groups to discuss not only barriers, but also opportunities, for the oilseed industry in the future."


This was the 18th annual IOPD meeting, and the first to be held in the United States since 2006.  The gathering also included representatives from the United Soybean Board (USB), American Soybean Association (ASA), U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).


"IOPD members work together on common issues to develop and promote a sound business environment that will allow oilseed producers and their families to remain viable for generations," says Sharon Covert, soybean farmer from Tiskilwa, Ill., and ISA director who attended the meeting.  "Organization members recognize the need to supply increasing quantities of protein and vegetable oil in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner."   


ISGA is made up of farmers and industry representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and the United States, who share a commitment to meeting rapidly increasing world demand for quality and healthy soy produced in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner. The mission is to communicate the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the soybean chain.


IOPD was organized 20 years ago by oilseed farmer leaders from U.S. soybean organizations and European Union rapeseed producer groups.  IOPD was formed under the belief that while oilseed producers may be competitors in the marketplace, they also share many common interests and objectives.


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 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




Jayne Godfrey