August is Iowa Soybean Month

Celebrating 50 years of service to soybeans farmers and the dedication of those farmers to environmental stewardship, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is honored to have Gov. Terry Branstad proclaim August as Iowa Soybean Month.

“The continuous efforts of Iowa soybean farmers have built interest in the crop and made Iowa the national leader in soybean production,” said Brian Kemp, ISA president and farmer from Sibley. “Farmers respond to global market demands to deliver the best crop possible, and as a result, we planted more acres this year than we have in a decade.”

Soybean Month in Iowa coincides with National Water Quality month. It’s a timely combination of designations, says ISA president-elect Tom Oswald, given the dedication soybean farmers have to the land and water quality. Therefore, the association will use the opportunity to highlight efforts of farmers in the area of nutrient reduction beginning Aug. 1 with an open house and tour of the Smeltzer Trust Farm near Otho.

The ISA was organized in 1964 by farmers who came together with a common goal – to increase the profitability of soybean production in the state.

Today, Kemp and Oswald are two of 21 volunteer farmers elected to serve on the ISA board of directors, representing nearly 11,000 members. Kemp says the soybean month proclamation recognizes the value of soybean production to Iowa and ISA’s innovative offering of programs and services, particularly those related to environmental stewardship and water quality.

“Farmers have stepped up this year to embrace their part in the nutrient reduction strategy,” said Kemp. “By working with the ISA to implement new practices, do research and conduct trials, many farmers are bettering their land and protecting the water that runs through it.”

ISA is committed to working with farmers to enhance their long-term sustainability and provide expanded opportunities and results on key issues including production research, environmental programs, market development, soyfoods, biodiesel, transportation and agricultural awareness.

“We even have a certified water quality lab in our building and are working with famers to assess water quality and evaluate impacts of their practice solutions,”said Roger Wolf, ISA director of Environmental Programs and Services. “Our goal is to help farmers set a benchmark and measure their progress as they move forward.”

Oswald, who farms near Cleghorn, said soybean farmers have a long history of doing what’s best for the land and looking forward to the future. “They are committed to raising a crop that has many uses and to do so in a sustainable way,” he said.

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