The Iowa Soybean Association will hand out eight awards in January
By Diego Flammini
Members of the Iowa soybean sector can now nominate their peers for industry leadership honors.
Until Nov. 2, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is accepting submissions for its Leadership Awards.
Now in its 10th year, the awards typically recognize seven farmers and industry members working to make a difference in the soybean sector.
“Just like farmers, these awards are very diverse,” Katie James, public relations manager with the ISA, told Farms.com. “Farmers, industry members, students and others involved in agriculture are eligible for an award in one category or another.”
The ISA has added a new category this year.
The Policy Champion award will be presented to someone who follows industry policy on a local, state or federal level, James said.
“The award recognizes a farmer or industry advocate who works to advance policy and regulatory issues benefiting the soybean industry,” she said. “Think of someone who’s passionate about policy, likes engaging with lawmakers and is up to date on the issues affecting farmers at different levels.”
Another award category is the Rising Star.
High school seniors or college students engaged in promoting Iowa agriculture are eligible for this honor, which comes with a $1,000 stipend the winner can apply to educational expenses.
Honoring young people in ag is important because the recognition can inspire them to continue working in the sector.
“We look back at previous award winners and some of them have gone on to do incredible things,” James said. “Whether it’s working at the Iowa Department of Agriculture or helping lead regional areas for companies they may be working at. When you recognize someone for the work they’re doing now, they may continue doing that work in the future.”
A third award category is the Environmental Leader.
Producers are stewards of the land, so ensuring they are recognized for their efforts to farm sustainably is important.
“This award recognizes someone who goes above and beyond to make sure their farm is as environmentally sustainable as it can be, and that the folks downstream from them receive healthy water that leaves their farm.”
Nomination forms can be submitted online until Nov. 2.
Nominators will be required to provide information about the nominee and why they’re deserving of one of the awards.
ISA will notify the winners, who will be honored at the ISA Leadership Awards & Industry Celebration Banquet in January.