Two Iowans have received top honors by the American Soybean Association for their commitment to the industry and environmental stewardship.
The American Soybean Association recognized Don Latham of Alexander as its Outstanding Achievement Award recipient while Rob Stout of Washington was named National Conservation Legacy Award winner.
Latham and Stout were honored during the ASA’s annual leadership awards banquet held March 1 during Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.
Latham was a founding member of the United Soybean Board (USB) and served on the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board. He has positively impacted additional programs including QUALISOY, Soy Insights and the USB investment conference.
“I am humbled to be recognized this way,” said Latham, who has also served as a member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee. “Frankly, it has been a joy these past thirty-five years in the soybean industry to see the growth and change farmers have created.”
In addition to farming, Latham managed a seed company and is a distinguished military graduate of Iowa State University. He also previously served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group.
A tireless advocate for the soybean industry, Latham has helped create demand and opportunities for U.S. soybean farmers.
“I believe there is a very bright future ahead for soybeans,” said Latham. “There’s a lot of research being conducted by farmers and academia that will help the soybean industry well into the future.”
Stout was humbled by the recognition for his stewardship of soil and water quality.
“I am very honored to be selected,” said Stout. “I have a real passion for conservation.”
In 1926, Stout’s grandfather purchased a 210-acre farm in Iowa. Now, Rob grows 1,100 acres of corn and soybeans with his wife Jean and her son Alex Zimmerman. The family also markets more than 9,000 pigs annually. Manure from the pigs is used to fertilize the corn crop.
Stout’s use of cover crops helps manage erosion and nutrient runoff. In addition, he installed a bioreactor on his farm. The edge-of-field practice removes nutrients from tile water before it leaves the farm. Stout has found the practice reduces nitrate volume by as much as 70 percent.
“I care about leaving my farm a better place than I found it,” said Stout. “It’s important to me that the water leaving my farm is better than when it entered.”