Executive Committee

(as of 12/15/14)

Wade Cowan, President • Brownfield, Texas.

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Wade Cowan, a soybean producer in Brownfield, Texas, is 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 28 years and they have three children: Kelcie 23, Brittany 21 and Alan, 15.

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.

Ray Gaesser, Chairman • Corning, Iowa

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Ray Gaesser, a soybean producer from Corning, Iowa, is Chairman of the American Soybean Association (ASA). In 2014 he served as ASA President. He’s serves as chairman of the Farm Bill Task Force and the Bio-Tech Working Group and 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.

Richard Wilkins, First Vice President • Greenwood, Del.

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Richard Wilkins, a farmer from Greenwood, Del., is First Vice President 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 Treasurer, 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.

Ron Moore, Secretary • Roseville, Ill.

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Ron Moore, a farmer from Roseville, Ill., is Secretary of the American Soybean Association. He is a board member who served as ASA Vice President in 2014 and as past Chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association.

He also serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and is past chairman of Illinois Council for Best Management Practices (CBMP), a coalition of Ag groups in Illinois promoting improving farmers resource management and profitability.

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.

Davie Stephens, Treasurer • Wingo, Ky.

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Davie Stephens, a soybean producer from Wingo, Ky., is Treasurer of the American Soybean Association (ASA).

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 seven 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.

Bret Davis, Vice President • Delaware, Ohio

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Bret Davis, a soybean producer from Delaware, Ohio, is Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He’s a fourth generation farmer of 3,500 plus acres, partnered with step son Wade McAfee. Davis is married to  Sarah (Janie) Davis and the couple has seven children. Davis has raised, soybeans  (GMO and Hi Oleic), corn,wheat and hay.  He is the owner Bret Davis Seeds LLC – seed sales and service. Davis has served as a board member of the Ohio Soybean Association for eight years; a board member of the Ohio Soybean Council for four years and an ASA director for three years. In 2011, he was president of the Ohio Soybean Association and chairman in 2012. Davis also served as a board member on the Ohio Livestock Coalition from 2009-12.

John Heisdorffer, Vice President • Keota, Iowa

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John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Keota, Iowa, is Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA). He also raises corn and finishes 10,000 hd of hogs a year. Heisdorffer farms with his wife Deanna and son Chris. John and Diana have been married for 42 years and have three children Lisa, Jody and Chris. Heisdorffer served on the Iowa Soybean Association for 20 years in various positions. He also served on the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) from 1996 – 2004 and now serves as president of the NBB Foundation.  Heisdorffer also served on the local coop board and his church council. He will plant his 43rd crop this spring.

Joe Steinkamp, Vice President • Evansville, Ind.

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Joe Steinkamp, a soybean producer from Evansville, Ind., is Vice President of the American Soybean Association (ASA).

He lives on a fourth generation farm, with a house and 40 acres that been in family for 100 years. Steinkamp has been married to Joni since 1990 and they have three daughters: Katie 22, Megan 19 and Abby 15.

Before returning to his family farm, Steinkamp  was a professional farm manager and Agricultural Loan officer in Kankakee, Ill. He’s been a soybean producer since 1991, and in a partnership with his cousin, produces soybeans, production seed soybeans, white corn and wheat.

Steinkamp  has a Bachelors of Science degree in Ag Economics from Purdue University. He’s been on the Indiana Soybean Alliance Board since 2009 and the ASA board since 2013. Steinkamp  is also a Life Member of St. Boniface Catholic Church and an Indiana Farm Bureau member.