ASA Recognition Awards

The three categories in ASA’s awards program recognize state association volunteerism, top leadership achievements of five years or more, and significant, long-lasting contributions to the soybean industry over a lifetime. The nomination period is now closed.

The Recognition Awards categories are:

ASA Outstanding State Volunteer Award – Recognizes the dedication and contributions of volunteers with at least three years of volunteer service in any area of the state association operation. Click here for Nomination Form-Outstanding State Volunteer Award

ASA Distinguished Leadership Award – Distinguished and visionary leadership of ASA or a state soybean association is recognized with this award to either a soybean grower-leader or association staff leader with at least five-years of leadership service. Click here for Nomination Form-Distinguished Leadership Award

ASA Pinnacle Award – Provides industry-wide recognition of those individuals who have demonstrated lifetime contribution and exemplary long-time leadership within the soybean family and industry. Click here for Nomination Form-Pinnacle Award

Click here, or on the image to the left, for a .PDF version of the 2019 ASA Recognition Awards Flyer


Nomination period is now closed.

If you have questions, please contact ASA’s Farris Haley at 1-800-688-7692, extension 1284 or email fhaley@soy.org.

2018 Award Winners

ASA Honors E. James Dunphy with Pinnacle Award

ASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents Dr. E. James Dunphy (right) with the Pinnacle Award during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif on Feb. 28. Credit: Joe Murphy

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized E. James Dunphy, from Raleigh, N.C., with its Pinnacle Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

The Pinnacle Award is an industry-wide recognition of individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of contribution and leadership within the soybean family and industry, through work involving a significant amount of their lifetime.

Dr. Jim Dunphy is a professor of crop science and soybean extension specialist at North Carolina State University.  He’s served and led within the soybean family and industry for nearly 50 years.

Dunphy is recognized as an excellent teacher, a top-notch researcher and an exemplary extension specialist.

“Dr. Dunphy is a tireless worker and has made it his mission personally to serve the soybean growers of North Carolina,” said John Fleming, president of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, in his nomination letter. “And while we know we have gained the most from Dr. Dunphy’s contributions, we also know he has had a significant impact on the soybean industry at large. Soybean farmers across the United States have benefited from his 50 years of dedicated service to research and teaching.”

Dunphy was a pioneer in helping growers save money by reducing their soybean plant populations, while still maximizing their yields. His work on soybean plant populations is used by soybean researchers across the country.

Dunphy used data from research on row spacing to educate growers about achieving yield increases from planting in narrow rows versus wide rows.  And he’s become a leading expert on double cropping soybeans with wheat.

His work has contributed to growth in the soybean industry through yield and acreage increases in North Carolina and on a national level.

Dunphy has been a strong collaborator on projects with other state soybean extension specialists. He’s collaborated on numerous multi-state projects, including planting considerations, planting date and population studies, variety evaluations, and a soybean rust information platform, to name just a few.

Dunphy’s legacy includes educating thousands of soybean farmers and students; operating an extension program that is a model for how to effectively reach soybean farmers; and always making it a priority to put the soybean farmer first in his research and extension work.

 ASA Honors Ray Gaesser with Distinguished Leadership Award

ASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents Ray Gaesser (right) with the Distinguished Leadership Award during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif on Feb. 28. Credit: Joe Murphy

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized Ray Gaesser, from Corning, Iowa, with its Distinguished Leadership Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes a soybean grower or association staff leader whose leadership has strengthened the national or state association, enhanced soy-related policy efforts and increased farmer education or engagement.

Gaesser served a number of years on the ASA Board, and was president in 2013-14. He also served on the Iowa Soybean Association board, as well as in multiple state leadership positions, including president of the Iowa Soybean Association in 2006-07.

During his years of leadership, Gaesser helped create and increase demand for biodiesel, and strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). He also supported increased trade and market opportunities for soybean farmers.

“Ray’s dedication to the industry, here in Iowa and at the national level, is second to none,” wrote Heather Lilienthal, Iowa Soybean Association director of producer services, in her nomination letter. “He can talk policy, and push tough issues with any lawmaker, and also recall the first time he and his wife visited Iowa and knew it would become home. He knows how to be tough, but always does this with a genuine smile on his face and a respectful nature to his delivery.”

Gaesser is passionate about communicating the importance of adopting agriculture technologies and seed traits to help keep soybean farmers competitive in the global marketplace. He’s also committed to telling the story of conservation and sustainability in agriculture, and how it impacts everyone.

And through his leadership roles, Gaesser has served as a continuing example of communication and collaboration among the many organizations in the soybean family.

ASA Honors Warren Stemme with Outstanding State Volunteer Award

ASA President John Heisdorffer (left) presents Warren Stemme (right) with Outstanding State Volunteer Award during the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif on Feb. 28. Photo credit: Joe Murphy

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized Warren Stemme, from Chesterfield, Mo., with its Outstanding State Volunteer Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

The Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes the dedication and exemplary contributions of volunteers with at least three years of volunteer service in any area of their state association operation.

Stemme is recognized by his state association as being a “standout” volunteer who is always willing to take on challenging tasks to help the association. He’s worked on policy development, advocacy activity, grower engagement, membership recruiting and fundraising.

“Warren Stemme is the association leader we all hope to grow up to be,” wrote Missouri Soybean Association President Matt McCrate in his nomination letter. “He seeks to find the best in others and to be that rising tide that lifts all boats, rather than to raise his personal profile.”

Stemme’s many years of volunteer work at the state level has helped create financial stability for the Missouri Soybean Association and solid positioning for the organization’s future.

While Stemme has served in all the top farmer-leadership positions with the Missouri Soybean Association, he is also recognized for mentoring young growers and helping guide them toward leadership positions.

Stemme also regularly opens his farm for farmer-focused events. He is committed to relationship building and strategic initiatives that help further the mission of the Missouri Soybean Association.

2017 Award Winners

ASA Honors Rob Joslin with Lifetime Achievement Award

Rob Joslin_2009 portrait

Joslin was active on the ASA Board for a decade and served as president in 2010. Photo Credit: ASA file photo

The American Soybean Association (ASA) honored the late Rob Joslin, of Sidney, Ohio, with its Lifetime Achievement Award-Association Focus, at its annual awards banquet during the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

The Lifetime Achievement Award-Association Focus is ASA’s highest recognition. It honors individuals who have provided many years of outstanding leadership and dedication to the work of ASA and U.S. soybean farmers.

Joslin, who passed away unexpectedly in May 2016, was remembered by fellow soybean farmers and friends during the awards banquet, and his wife Ellen Joslin and daughter Gail (Joslin) Kelley accepted his posthumous award.

Joslin was a proud graduate of The Ohio State University. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in agriculture in 1975, he began farming full time.

Rob Joslin Lifetime Award_ELLEN & GAIL_ASA Banquet 2017

ASA President Ron Moore (left) presents Ellen Joslin (center) and Gail Joslin Kelley (right) with Rob Joslin’s posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award-Association Focus at the ASA awards banquet in San Antonio. Photo Credit: Joe Murphy

Joslin was a member of the Ohio Soybean Association and ASA for nearly 30 years. He served on numerous committees and in all top leadership positions at both the state and national level. He was also a dedicated supporter of ASA’s World Soy Foundation and served on the board of the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), including one year as board secretary.

During nearly a decade on the ASA Board of Directors, Joslin served five years on Executive Committee, and began his year as ASA president in December 2009.

During his three-year officer cycle with ASA, Joslin spent hundreds of “volunteer” hours working on policy, regulatory and trade issues to benefit soybean farmers.

He was instrumental in developing ASA positions on two farm bills. He was engaged in many legislative efforts, involving such issues as the biodiesel tax incentive, estate taxes and ag appropriations. He also provided strong representation for U.S. soybean farmers on numerous trade issues.

“Through all his work, Rob led with integrity, a deep knowledge of the issues and a vision for the future. He left his mark on the soybean industry and ASA is proud and grateful for his impact,” said ASA President Ron Moore. “Rob was a true leader, forging collaboration and non-partisan relationships and always with a positive outlook and a determination to do his best in every way.”

ASA Honors Joe Jobe with Special Meritorious Service Award

Joe Jobe-2_Special Meritorious Service_ASA Awards Banquet 2017

ASA President Ron Moore (left) presents Joe Jobe (right) with the Special Meritorious Service Award at the ASA awards banquet in San Antonio. Photo Credit: Joe Murphy

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized Joe Jobe, from Jefferson City, Mo., with its Special Meritorious Service Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

The Special Meritorious Service Award honors individuals who served the soybean industry above and beyond the ordinary.

Jobe, president of Rock House Advisors, is a recognized leader in the areas of energy, agriculture and environment. For nearly 20 years he’s worked in these areas, helping to shape and advance the industries.

Much of his work was with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), including 17 years as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. During his time there, Jobe grew NBB into a world-class organization that helped build the biodiesel industry into a continuously growing and competitive market.

Jobe has testified multiple times before Congress and given speeches in 10 countries. He’s appeared on national television and radio programs and been interviewed by major newspapers across the country, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Washington Post.

“Joe’s commitment and dedication helped build and grow a biodiesel industry that has benefited U.S. soybean farmers and many other agricultural stakeholders,” said ASA President Ron Moore, a soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill.

Jobe said he was honored and grateful for the recognition.

“ASA has always been a tremendous partner to the biodiesel industry and to me, and a highly effective advocate on behalf of the soybean farmers they serve,” he said. “As a farm boy myself, I’m proud to have worked in an area that benefits farmers. And I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to continue to work in an area where agriculture, energy and sustainability intersect. None of the successes that ASA is honoring me for would have happened without the hard work and commitment of ASA and America’s soybean farmers.Thank you.”

2016 Award Winners

 

 

ASA Honors 2016 Lifetime Achievement Leaders at Annual Banquet

ASA Awards Banquet 2016, Richard Wilkins & Johnny Dodson

ASA President Richard Wilkins (left) presents Johnny Dodson,of Halls, Tenn., (right) with the association’s highest award – the ASA Lifetime Achievement Award-Association Focus during the annual banquet at Commodity Classic 2016. Photo Credit: Joe Murphy

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized individuals for their lifetime association and membership developments and top recruiting achievements at the annual ASA Banquet sponsored by the United Soybean Board (USB), DuPont and Monsanto BioAg Inc. on March 4 at Commodity Classic in New Orleans.

ASA honored Johnny Dodson of Halls, Tenn., with the association’s highest award – the ASA Lifetime Achievement Award-Association Focus.

Dodson has been a member of the Tennessee Soybean Association and ASA for nearly 30 years. He’s served on the boards for both associations, and been in all the top leadership positions.

For seven years, starting in 2003, Dodson served on the ASA executive committee and was a vital part of the national leadership team. He served as president of ASA in the 2008-09 term.

During his presidency, Dodson helped ASA successfully lobby for continued funding for a soybean pest monitoring and management network. Under his leadership, ASA was out front on climate change discussions at a time when the issue first started generating increased public attention. Also highlighting Dodson’s term as president was continuing to strengthen ASA’s leadership in the area of agriculture biotechnology and market access for U.S. soybeans.

Dodson has always channeled his efforts toward serving and protecting the interests of U.S. soybean farmers – and has done so with great success.

ASA Awards Banquet 2016, Jack Trumbo & Richard Wilkins

ASA President Richard Wilkins (right) presents Jack Trumbo,of Simpsonville, Ken., (left) with the ASA Lifetime Achievement Award-Membership Focus during the annual banquet at Commodity Classic 2016. Photo Credit: Joe Murphy

ASA presented Jack Trumbo of Simpsonville, Ky., with the ASA Lifetime Achievement Award-Membership Focus.

Trumbo has served the soybean industry at the state and national levels. He has held multiple leadership positions on the Kentucky Soybean Association board, and has been a top recruiter for Kentucky and the American Soybean Association.

As an ASA director, Trumbo served on committees for membership, public affairs, and trade policy. And for many years he has been involved with ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program.

Over the past 15 years, Trumbo has more than 300 membership recruits to his name. And some of his recruits have gone on to serve on the Kentucky Soybean Association board.

2015 Award Winners

ASA Honors Lifetime Leader, Top Recruiter at Commodity Classic Banquet

WadeCowan-ASAPres_JimSpecht_2015 Special Meritorious Service Award

ASA President Wade Cowan (left) presents Dr. Jim Specht (right) with the Special Meritorious Service Award at the awards banquet in Phoenix.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized individuals for their meritorious service, lifetime membership development and top recruiting achievement at the annual ASA Banquet during the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix.

ASA presented Dr. Jim Specht, emeritus professor of agronomy and horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with the Special Meritorious Service Award. The Special Meritorious Service Award honors individuals who served the soybean industry above and beyond the ordinary and devoted a major portion of their career to the soybean industry in any field.

Specht’s work led to major advancements in the soybean industry, including findings that an earlier planting date was crucial to achieving higher soybean yields. He was instrumental in DNA sequencing for generating higher seed yields and a leader in water management research and soybean yield response.ASA presented Dr. Jim Specht, emeritus professor of agronomy and horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with the Special Meritorious Service Award. The Special Meritorious Service Award honors individuals who served the soybean industry above and beyond the ordinary and devoted a major portion of their career to the soybean industry in any field.

WadeCowan-ASAPres_HarveyMorken-ND-2015 Lifetime Achievement Membership Award

ASA President Wade Cowan (left) presents Harvey Morken (right) with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award-Membership Focus during the banquet in Phoenix.

ASA presented Harvey Morken, of Casselton, N.D., with the Lifetime Achievement Award – Membership Focus. The award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and dedication to ASA and helped further the interests of soybean farmers.

Morken’s hard work helped the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association increase membership enough to receive a second national director on the ASA Board for 2015. He is a dedicated membership recruiter who strives to learn more about the important issues and engages farmers in conversation, underscoring the importance of having a state and national soybean association working on policy issues on their behalf.

2014 Award Winners

ASA Presents Lifetime Achievement Awards at Commodity Classic Banquet in San Antonio 

The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized two leaders with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual ASA Banquet at Commodity Classic at the end of February 2014.

DaveDRENNANASA-Life-Achievement

ASA President Ray Gaesser (left) presents David Drennan (right) from Chesterfield, Mo. the Lifetime Achievement Award – Association Focus. Photo Credit: Sandra Martin

The award honors individuals who have provided outstanding leadership and dedication to ASA and helped further the interests of soybean farmers.

Dave Drennan from Chesterfield, Mo. was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award – Membership Focus. Drennan started his career with ASA in 1975 as newsletter editor. He was named interim Field Services Director at age 24. Dave was ASA’s first Membership Manager in 1979 to spearhead ASA’s membership efforts. In that year, ASA’s membership increased eight percent and more than 1,400 members from the previous year.

Drennan was also recognized as the number one ASA Regional Manager for membership recruitment in 1980 from ASA’s 11 regions.

DavidWOMAKASA-Life-Achievement

ASA President Ray Gaesser (left) presents David Womack (right) from Shelbyville, Tenn. the Lifetime Achievement Award – Association Focus. Photo Credit: Sandra Martin

David Womack from Shelbyville, Tenn. was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award – Association Focus.

Womack has been involved in the state and national soybean organizations for more than 30 years. Womack held leadership positions in ASA, was a founding member of the United Soybean Board (USB) and the last president of the American Soybean Development Foundation.

“In my opinion, you couldn’t find a more deserving and qualified individual who has committed more than Mr. Womack to serving the Tennessee and American soybean associations and to improving the standing of soybean producers everywhere,” said Julius Johnson, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture in his letter of recommendation for Womack.

Womack also served on the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), Tennessee Soybean Association (TSA) and Tennessee Soybean Promotion Board (TSPB).

Previous Award Recipients

Special Meritorious Service

2017 Joe Jobe, Jefferson City, Mo.
2016 No Recipient
2015 Dr. Jim Specht. Lincoln, Neb.
2014 No Recipient
2013 Lyle Roberts, Hopedale, Ill.
2012 Phil Bradshaw, Griggsville, Ill.
2011 Walter Fehr, Iowa State University
2010 Neil Strong, Syngenta
2009 Dr. Bhima R. Vijayendran, Columbus, Ohio.
2008 Dr. Ann Dorrance, Wooster, Ohio.
2007 Keith Reinholt, Reese, Mich.
2006 Keith Smith, Farmington, Mo.
2005 Blanche Lincoln, U.S. Senate, D-Ark.
2004  Charles E. Grassley, U.S. Senate, R-Iowa
2003  David Haggard, Steele, Mo.
2002  Allen Johnson, Office of the US Trade Representative
2001  Dave Younkman, Columbus, Ohio
2000  James D. Thrift, Parsippany, N.J.
1999  Dr. Ken Bader, St. Louis, Mo.
1998  James F. Wilder, Raleigh, N.C.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Smith, Petersburg, Mich.

Lifetime Achievement-Membership

2017 No Recipient
2016 Jack Trumbo, Simpsonville, Ky.
2015 Harvey Morken, Casselton, N.D.
2014 Dave Drennan, Chesterfield, Mo.
2013 Kent Hodel, Bloomington, Ill.
2012 C.W. Gaffner, Greenville, Ill.
2011 Gary Appel, Enfield, Ill.
2010 Robert Nelsen, Westbrook, Minn.
2009 Gerry Hayden, Calhoun, Ky.
2008 Homer C. Ferguson, Oskaloosa, Iowa
2007 Roger Hadley II, Woodburn, Ind.
2006 Jimmy Vaden Barbour, Friendship, Tenn.
2005 Don Louwagie, Marshall, Minn.
2004 Earl Brandt, Sumner, Iowa
2003 Lorraine Birschbach, Malone, Wis.
2002 John Eckert, Jackson, Minn.
2000 Mark Berg, Tripp, S.D.
1999 Norbert Pilotte, Monticello, Ind.
1998 Don Korte, Canton, Mich.
Patrick Delanty, Charter Oak, Iowa

Lifetime Achievement-Association Focus

2017 Rob Joslin, Sidney, Ohio
2016 Johnny Dodson, Halls, Tenn.
2015 No Recipient
2014 David Womack, Shelbyville, Tenn.
2013 Bob Metz, Browns Valley, SD
2012 Bart Ruth, Rising City, Neb.
2011 Ron Heck, Perry, Iowa
2010 Al Ambrose, CHS Incorporated
2009 Darryl Brinkmann, Carlyle, Ill.
2008 John R. McClendon, Marianna, Ark.
2007 Dr. John Henderson, Auburn, Ala.
2006 John F. Long, Newberry, S.C.
2005 Dwain Ford, Kinmundy, Ill.
2004 Mike Yost, Murdock, Minn.
2003 Harold Phillips, Stevenson, Ala.
2002 David Erickson, Altona, Ill.
2001 Richard A. McWard, Bunge Corporation
2000 Raymond Heck, Urbandale, Iowa
Grant Putman, Williamston, Mich.
1999 Dale Darling, Wilmington, Del.
Gary Riedel, Centralia, Mo.
Robert Utz, New Washington, Ohio
1998 Vivian Evans, Montevideo, Minn.

Lifetime Achievement (1996-97)

1997 Dr. James Orf, University of Minnesota
William Silver, Williamsport, Ind.
Ron Schildroth, Grundy Center, Iowa
1996 Stephen M. Yoder, Altha, Fla.
Karl Sera Hidesuke, Japan