by Emma Peters

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Market Development team is constantly working on new ways to promote and expand soybean markets, both domestically and internationally. Our team is committed to representing Illinois’ 43,000 soybean farmers by developing new uses, improving infrastructure, supporting value-added products in animal agriculture, capitalizing on the food and oil space, promoting biofuels, and securing trade relations with our robust export markets.  

The team, comprised of Director, Todd Main; International Markets Manager, Eileen Pabst; Domestic Markets Manager, Tim Rendall; International Markets Specialist, Caitlyn Abbey; and Market Development Coordinators, Emma Peters and Jaidyn Miller, come with diverse backgrounds and experiences that equip them with the tools they need to build relationships and develop new markets. Within the last year, our team has expanded 3-fold, which brings extensive possibilities to be present in conversations around the state, country, and world. 

The growth of our team allows us to expand our capacity in multiple markets, and with that, comes a need for improved communication. This year, we have adopted ‘expand,’ ‘collaborate,’ and ‘transparent’ as our words of the year. We want to ensure that everything we do as a department can relate to overarching strategic goals and, more importantly, our main goal to expand the market for soybeans. Each year, we invest in a variety of projects that aim to increase the ROI for every farmer in Illinois, so it is our job as a department to facilitate conversations, research, and innovation that will help move the needle forward. Collaboration is a key component in reaching these goals. We must work together within a department, within the organization, and within an industry to reach the goals we have set forth because, without common goals, we can only go so far. Lastly, we strive to be transparent both with the farmers we represent and with the public. It is our goal to provide a clear view of the checkoff and how it benefits every farmer in Illinois.  

By following the Bean There Blog, you can get a firsthand look into where we go, what we do, and who we are. We will show you how meetings and conferences are a vital aspect of the work we do here by putting us in rooms with industry representatives, vital trade partners, soy buyers around the world, and so many more. Our presence allows our staff and our board to speak to the interests of every farmer across the state and promote the competitive advantages of Illinois-grown soy on all levels of the value chain.  

Follow along to see what the checkoff is doing for you.  

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