Soybean Leadership College


ASA Soybean Leadership College

 Jan. 6-8, 2015

DoubleTree at Union Station, St. Louis, Mo. 


Register for 2015 Soybean Leadership College Here! 

2015 Soybean Leadership College Speakers and Topics

Opening General Session

Jack Bobo, Senior Advisor for Biotechnology in the Bureau of boEconomic and Business Affairs U.S. Department of State

Can Agriculture Save the Planet before It Destroys It?

In a hot, flat, hyper-connected world, social media may determine if agriculture will save the planet by 2050 or destroy it. Science and technology will likely hold the key to getting us where we need to go, but, if our media experience with GMOs and pink slime are any indication, we may be in for a bumpy ride. This session will examine global trends in food and agriculture and the role of effective communication in ensuring that the voice of farmers and students contributes to the food policy, technology and innovation dialogue.

Wednesday Morning General Session

Matt Roberts, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics and an Extension Grain Marketing SpecialistOhio State Universitrobertsy

Grain Market Situation & Biofuels Outlook

A review of the current supply and demand situation for grains and oilseeds in the US and the world, what that means for prices, and how growers can best take advantage of these trends in their own marketing decisions. Dr. Roberts will also examine the US biofuels market and policy with the intent of showing where we are today, how we got here, and what that means for the future. Special emphasis is placed on relating the discussion to energy security, food/crop prices, and the real winners and losers of US biofuels policy.

Wednesday Breakout Sessions


Todd Long, Founder and President of Leadership Innovations

Integrative Leadership 

Clear alignment is critical to success of an organization’s progress towards desired aspirations.  The Integrative longLeadership workshop helps participants recognize the wants and needs of the organization, follower, and leader in order to create better alignment to reach the desired outcomes.  Participants also learn how the Integrative Leaderpartners with the follower to help him or her achieve identified goals while maintaining focus on the leader’s goals and maintaining alignment with the organization’s goals.  Finally, participants learn the five principles of Integrative Leadership:  Focused on Needs & Goals, Builds Trust, Steward of Position, Respected Example, and Embraces Feedback.


Alana Muller, Author, Consultant

Coffee LUNCH Coffee – A Practical Field Guide for Mastering Networking Muller

Based on the Coffee Lunch Coffee Networking Platform, this session will provide you with an accessible, relevant, immediately actionable approach to professional networking.  It’s for anybody interested in connecting with others, getting involved in their community, seeking to advance their career or looking to build social relationships.  It has helped thousands of people formulate a strategic mindset around networking while creating a game plan to get out there and connect.

During the session, you will engage in a number of preparatory exercises to help hone your networking efforts and bolster the quality of your relationship bases.

You will leave with the ability to:

1. Identify key connectors presently in their networks;

2. Consider others in their communities who they wish to add to their relationship bases;

3. Feel prepared to engage in meaningful conversations during networking interactions.

Wednesday Afternoon General Session

Dr. Jermaine Davis, Seminars and Workshops Inc.

Leading and Working with an Inclusive Lens: Achieving Organizational Synergy with Diversity & Inclusion

All organizations and teams have a diversity climate. Is your DrDavisorganizations climate friendly or unfriendly, inclusive or exclusive, welcoming or unwelcoming? A friendly, inclusive, and welcoming work climate produces an environment where EVERYONE thrives and succeeds. As organizations, teams, and clients become increasingly multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual, and multifaceted – it is imperative that organizational leaders, managers, and employees learn how-to embrace, communicate, and work effectively across ALL dimensions of diversity. Great leaders and employees contribute to a healthy and positive work environment where EVERYONE feels respected, regarded, and included. This thought-provoking presentation will provide participants with practical tips on how-to lead and work appropriately and effectively in the areas of diversity and inclusion. This engaging presentation will equip participants with practical tips and tools on how-to cultivate an inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued, welcomed, and safe.

Learning Goals and Outcomes – After this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the differences and similarities between Visible and Invisible diversity
  2. Conduct a Diversity Journey and Quest to embrace the unique differences in the workplace
  3. Identify the 3 kinds of Diversity and Inclusion Attitudes to improve workplace morale
  4. Resolve workplace diversity conflict and tension using  Empathy and Cognitive Complexity
  5. Build cross-cultural connections with others using the Golden  Rule and the Platinum Rule
  6. Recognize how BAPS (Biases, Assumptions, Prejudices, and Stereotypes)  influence our styles of communication, decision-making, and leadership
  7. Improve cross-cultural interactions using the Carpenter’s Rule and the Intent vs. Impact Approach
  8. Define and explain diversity in an inclusive manner where everyone feels valued and appreciated

Thursday Breakout Sessions


Cynthia D’Amour, President of People Power Unlimited

Lead BIG – Or Go Home! Cynthia

Do you ever…

  • Wish you could be a leader who produced big results – instead of just a repeat of last year with a few minor variations?
  • Wonder why some leaders are able to move things forward - while you struggle to survive the day?

Cynthia D’Amour, MBA, author of The Lazy Leader’s Guide to Outrageous Results will share key insights she’s discovered from more than 20 years of working with thousands of leaders to help you take your leadership success to the next level.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Lead with more confidence.
  • Create a stronger leadership presence.
  • Produce bigger results with more ease!

Come ready to roll up your sleeves and learn specific how-to ideas you can use right away to lead BIG or go home!


Kathleen Leighton, President of Leighton Communications

Mastering the Media – 90-minutes total

In the first segment of this session, a 20-year veteran of the television world will give you tips, tricks and timeless tactics that will be at your fingertips the next time a reporter calls you. Did you know that 90 percent of giving a good interview involves preparation? You’ll learn how to prepare for an interview, the strategies of formulating key messages, how to communicate your message clearly and effectively through TV, radio, print or social media, and why a white shirt may not be the best choice for a television interview. You’ll also be armed with a “cheat sheet” to refresh your memory months from now.

After learning these interview tactics, you’ll put them to use in a mock interview setting. Find out firsthand whether giving an effective interview is easier said than done. A seasoned reporter will “interview” you on camera so you can practice the skills you’ve just learned. Group discussion as the interview is played back is an effective way to lock those skills in and truly understand how you, too, can master the media.


Stay tuned for more info on training topics and speakers.

 Hotel Location

St. Louis Union Station – A Double Tree by Hilton Hotel

1820 Market Street

St. Louis, MO 63103

St. Louis Union Station - A DoubleTree Hotel

Why You Should Attend Soybean Leadership College?

American agriculture is constantly changing. New farming technologies, government regulations, biotechnology approvals, market opportunities, and threats from outside groups endanger producer’s “Freedom to Operate.”

In order to manage these challenges, soybean organizations must have strong leaders that can provide sound strategic direction; effectively explain their farming practices to industry and consumer groups; promote the promise of new biotechnology; share knowledge of international and domestic markets with other soybean producers and they must be able to have conversations that refute the myths about modern farming practices.

The American Soybean Association’s State Leaders Summit and Soybean Leadership College are the “premiere” soybean leadership development programs in our industry providing today’s and tomorrow’s leaders the training needed promote the industry and effectively communicate key messages to expand U.S. soybean producer’s market opportunities and increase profitability. The programs focus is on four key leadership development areas:

  • Emerging trends and issues and the development of a collaborative plan to promote and protect soybean producers
  • Organizational leadership
  • Communications skills with an emphasis on presentation or media training
  • Industry issues sessions including the latest trends and issues affecting soybean producers

What is Soybean Leadership College?

Soybean Leadership College is a two-day training program designed for both current and future leaders including: American Soybean Association (ASA), United Soybean Board (USB), United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and state Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs) and future soybean growers with a desire to assume a leadership position on a state or national level. College students seeking to further their leadership skills are also encouraged to attend.

Through networking and education, the program creates a working foundation for better cooperation and communication between state and national soybean organizations, increases the effectiveness of current leaders and identify new leaders as well as providing participants with skills to be used every day. The Soybean Leadership College also provides all attendees an opportunity to develop lasting relationships and network socially with grower leaders in other states.

Soybean Leadership College Program Goals

  1. Promote and build stronger state and national soybean organizations
  2. Enhance communication and cooperation
  3. Educate and provide soybean growers and key staff with skills and management systems that  result  in more proactive and effective industry leadership
  4. Advance the understanding of new uses and new markets for U.S. soy

Who should attend Soybean Leadership College?

The Soybean Leadership College education program is a two-day training program for all soybean leaders or leaders serving in the following organizations:

  • American Soybean Association
  • United Soybean Board
  • United State Soybean Export Council
  • State QSSBs
  • State Associations

The Soybean Leadership College is also open to soybean producers seeking to assume a leadership position in a state or national organization, university students serving in leadership roles, FFA and agriculture fraternities.

Soybean Leadership College Sponsors

ASA thanks the following corporate partners, national checkoff and state QSSB organizations for sponsoring the 2015 Soybean Leadership College:

Corporate Partners:

  • BASF BASFc_wh52-5or_3c

National Checkoff Sponsor

  • United Soybean Board


State QSSB Sponsors (List represents states that have committed sponsorship as of Sept. 1, 2014)

  • Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
  • Delaware Soybean Board
  • Illinois Soybean Board
  • Indiana Soybean Alliance
  • Iowa Soybean Association
  • Kansas Soybean Commission
  • Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board
  • Maryland Soybean Board
  • Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee
  • Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
  • Nebraska Soybean Board
  • New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association
  • North Carolina Soybean Producers Association
  • North Dakota Soybean Council
  • Ohio Soybean Council
  • South Dakota Soybean Council
  • Tennessee Soybean Promotion Board
  • Virginia Soybean Board