ANKENY — As the Iowa Soybean Association looks ahead to celebrating 50 years of service to soybean farmers in 2014, Gov. Terry Branstad has declared August as Iowa Soybean Month.
The ISA was organized in 1964 by a group of Iowa farmers who came together with a common goal – to increase the profitability of soybean production in the state. At that time, Iowa grew 121 million bushels of soybeans. In 2012, that number grew to 414 million bushels of soybeans.
Mark Jackson serves as ISA president and farms near Rose Hill. He’s one of 21 volunteer farmers who are elected to serve on the ISA board of directors, representing nearly 11,000 members throughout the state. He says the soybean month proclamation recognizes the value of soybean production to Iowa and ISA’s innovative offering of programs and services.
“Not only do Iowa’s farmers lead the nation in the production of soybeans, the state’s soybean industry is a recognized leader in biodiesel, transportation, soyfoods, international marketing, environmental stewardship and agronomic and production research,” said Jackson. “I’m proud to raise a crop that has many important applications, from serving as a vital source of protein for people and livestock to providing an important fuel source.”
Jackson says it’s an exciting time to be involved in the soybean industry.
“We continually pursue new opportunities for Iowa soybean farmers while providing expertise that helps farmers continually improve production with environmental performance,” he says. “We’re positioned for continued growth as domestic and global demand for reliable sources of protein increases.”
People visiting the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines can take an active part in Iowa Soybean Month. On Thursday, Aug. 8, the opening day of the fair in Des Moines, the ISA will partner with the Iowa Food & Family Project and GROWMARK to package 250,000 servings of soy-based meals for Meals from the Heartland. Volunteers will be needed to work for one-hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the south side of the Varied Industries Building.
To participate, visit iowastatefair.org.