February 02, 2023

Pitstick: ISA announces FY23 checkoff-funded projects

Focused on growing soybean uses, markets, accessibility and demand

The Illinois Soybean Association kicked off our new fiscal year with a slate full of promising and purposeful projects that place Illinois soybean farmers’ profitability as a top priority by growing opportunities for soybean uses, markets, accessibility and demand.

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.

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.

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.

Agronomy And Utilization

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.

Government Relations

The Illinois Soybean Growers 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.

Communications

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.

Not only are we staying connected to our roots in 2023, but we are also spreading our wings. As an association, we are proud to serve Illinois farmers and are looking forward to another successful year.

I wish everyone a safe and bountiful harvest!

Steve Pitstick is the chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association.