Executive Committee

(as of 12/23/13)

Ray Gaesser, President • Corning, Iowa

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Ray Gaesser, a soybean producer from Corning, Iowa, is President of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He currently serves as chairman of the Farm Bill Task Force and the Bio-Tech Working Group. He has served as Chairman of ASA’s Public Affairs Committee, Finance and Strategic Planning committees, Membership & Corporate Relations Committee, Audit Committee and on the Trade Policy & International Affairs Committee.

Gaesser is also liaison to the United Soybean Board and Freedom to Operate action team.

A member of the Iowa Soybean Association since the 1980s, Gaesser was President of his state association in 2007-2008. Gaesser served on the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s Agriculture Products Advisory Committee from 2006-2011.

Gaesser operates a 6,000-acre farm that raises 3,000 acres of soybeans and 3,000 acres of corn.

Gaesser and his wife Elaine have a daughter, Jennifer, who teaches high school vocal classes in Atlantic, Iowa and a son, Chris, who is an agronomist and farms with them. Jennifer and Chris operate 160 acres in partnership. The Gaesser family received the 2012 Iowa Master Farmer award sponsored by Wallaces Farmer magazine.

Gaesser’s hobbies include walking a couple miles each day with his dog Buddy, rock ‘n’ roll music and having FUN.

Wade Cowan, First Vice President • Brownfield, Texas.

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Wade Cowan, a soybean producer in Brownfield, Texas, is First Vice President of the American Soybean Association.

Cowan has served on the Texas Soybean Board since 2006 and has been an ASA National Director since 2010.

He is an eighth generation Texas farmer, who owns more than 1,500 acres of farmland in western Texas. He has 34 years of experience raising crops, including guar, cotton, wheat, grain, sorghum and soybeans.

Cowan has a Bachelors and Masters of Economics from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

He has been married to Valerie for 27 years and they have three children: Kelcie 22, and Brittany 20 and Alan, 14.

Cowan is also a member of the Brownfield First Baptist Church, the Brownfield Optimist Organization, South Plains Community Action Board and the Rural Transportation Board.

Danny Murphy, Chairman • Canton, Miss.

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Danny Murphy, a soybean producer from Canton, Miss., is Chairman of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Murphy has served as President, First Vice President, Treasurer and Vice President of ASA, and as Chair of the Trade Policy & International Affairs Committee and Public Affairs Committee. He also served on the Farm Bill Task Force 2006-08 and SoyPAC Committee 2007-13.

Murphy has been a member of the Mississippi Soybean Association since 1984. He served as that organization’s President (1990-92) and Vice President (1988-90).

Murphy has served as Chairman of the Mississippi Corn Promotion Board (2006-2008) and as Chairman of the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (2003-05).

Murphy operates a 1,500-acre farm that grows soybeans, corn and winter wheat.

Murphy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from Mississippi State University.

His activities include serving as Treasurer for Thornton Chapel United Methodist Church, a member of the Canton Lions Club, a member of the Madison Country Library System Board of Directors, and a member of the Madison County Co-op Board of Directors

Wyatt Whitford, Secretary • Ernul, NC.

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Wyatt Whitford

Wyatt Whitford, a soybean farmer from Ernul, NC, is Secretary of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He serves on the Public Affairs Committee and is the Co-Chair of the Commodity Classic JV Committee. He has been an ASA Director for six years and a board member of the North Carolina Soybean Producers for 11 years.

Whitford operates a 2,400 acre farm along with his cousin, Scott Whitford, that consists of soybeans, corn, wheat and tobacco.

His daughter, Erin, is obtaining a Masters Degree in Accounting, and his son, Andrew, is in Culinary School.

Whitford enjoys being with family and is a huge fan of college football and basketball.

Richard Wilkins, Treasurer • Greenwood, Del.

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Richard Wilkins, a farmer from Greenwood, Del., is Treasurer of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He is one of nine soybean growers who make up the ASA Executive Committee.

Wilkins has served as ASA Vice President and on ASA’s Membership & Corporate Relations (2010), Public Affairs (2011-13), Investment (2013) and Strategic Planning (2013) committees.

Wilkins has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association since 2002, and served his state association as President (2005-10) and Membership Chair (2003-04).

Wilkins farms 400 acres of soybeans annually. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres of barley, 200 acres of vegetables, 250 acres of hay and raises 150 head of beef cattle. He is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Soybean Advisory Committee.

Wilkins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Delaware and enjoys hunting, fishing and camping.

Bob Henry, Vice President • Robinson, Kan.

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Bob Henry, a farmer from Robinson, Kan., is Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He is one of nine soybean growers who make up the ASA Executive Committee.

Henry has served as ASA Treasurer and as Chair of ASA’s Trade Policy & International Affairs Committee (2013), on ASA’s Public Affairs Committee for two years; Membership & Corporate Relations Committee for one year; Finance Committee for five years; Audit Committee for three years; Investment Committee for five years; and SoyPAC Committee for six years.

Henry has been a member of the Kansas Soybean Association since 1980, served his state association board for seven years and as ASA Board member from that state for five years. Henry has served on the Kansas Soybean Association’s Policy, Strategic Planning, Commission Projects, Yield Contest and Membership & Corporate Relations Committees.

Henry farms 1,000 acres of soybeans annually. In addition, he produces 1,200 acres of corn.

Henry earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Baker University and enjoys golf and travel.

Bob Worth, Vice President • Lake Benton, Minn.

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Bob Worth, a farmer from Lake Benton, Minn., is Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He is one of nine soybean growers who make up the ASA Executive Committee.

Worth has served on ASA’s Membership & Corporate Relations (2007-13), as Chair 2012-13, Transportation (2007-11), Commodity Classic (2010-13), Strategic Planning, Audit and Communications (2013) committees. Worth is a graduate of ASA’s DuPont Young Leader (2003) and Syngenta Leadership At Its Best (2003) programs, and participated in ASA’s Soybean Leadership College.

Worth has been a member of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association since 2002, and served his state association as President (2005-07) and Membership Chair (2003-07).

Worth farms 750 acres of soybeans annually. In addition, he produces corn and spring wheat. He is a member of the American Legion, Lake Benton Opera House Board and Lake Benton Farmers Elevator Board. The Worth family was named Lincoln County Farm Family of the Year in 2004.

Ron Moore, Vice President • Roseville, Ill.

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Ron Moore, a farmer from Roseville, IL is Vice President of the American Soybean Association. He is a board member and past Chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association.

He  also serves on the Illinois Council for Best Management Practices, a coalition of Ag groups in Illinois promoting improving farmers resource management and profitability. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the United States Soybean Export Council.

Moore earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. He began farming in 1977 on a family farm located in the west central part of Illinois. Moore raises 600 acres of corn and 400 acres of soybeans, along with 230 head of feeder cattle grazed on 250 acres of pasture. His cropping practices include conservation tillage on about half the acres and no-till on the other half. He and his wife Deb have three sons.

Kevin Hoyer, Vice President • West Salem, Wis.
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Kevin Hoyer, a soybean producer from West Salem, Wisconsin, is Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA).  He’s served on the ASA board for six years and has been active in the soybean family since 2003.

Hoyer grew up on his family dairy farmer where he also raised pigs and chickens. He graduated with an AS degree in agbusinessin 1988. After moving home in 1990 and renting a neighbors farm for a few years, he started farming on his own in 1996 as a Certified Crop Advisor.

Hoyer has been employed as an agronomist and location manager at a local independent Ag Retail company since 1990 and also currently operates a 500 acre grain farm. His wife Jody is involved in the farm operation and helps with planting and harvesting, along with working full time as a lab technician at a local milk plant.

Hoyer has served on the Wisconsin Soybean Association board as president for two terms. He was a 2003 DuPont Young Leader program participant.