Soybean Leadership College

logo-SLCFounded in 2001, Soybean Leadership College provides current and future agricultural industry leaders with training to effectively promote the soybean industry communicate key agricultural messages and work to expand U.S. soybean market opportunities domestically and internationally.

In addition to providing a forward-looking educational experience, Soybean Leadership College fosters networking between growers from across the country, encouraging collaboration, which in turn increases the effectiveness of soybean growers at the local, regional and national level. Designed for current and future leaders of the American Soybean Association (ASA), United Soybean Board (USB), United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs) and University Students, the program offers something for everyone.

Farmers, Ag Students Learn Leadership, Communication Skills at Soybean Leadership College

Agriculture trailblazers of all ages from across the country attended ASA’s 17th annual Soybean Leadership College (SLC) in St. Louis in January to debunk GMO myths, network and learn more about being an impactful communicator and leader.

Soybean Leadership College provides current and future agricultural industry leaders with training to effectively promote the soybean industry, communicate key agricultural messages and work to expand U.S. soybean market opportunities domestically and internationally while fostering networking between growers from across the country.

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Quint Pottinger, of Kentucky, (left) chats with SciBabe Yvette d’Entremont (right) after her presentation “10 Blankety-Blank Arguments Against GMOs – Why Science Rocks Agriculture.”

The 2017 Soybean Leadership College opened with the session, “10 Blankety-Blank Arguments Against GMOs – Why Science Rocks Agriculture”- with Yvette d’Entremont AKA the SciBabe, an analytical chemist turned science blogger, who has proven that a few jokes and a little bit of sass can shake up the way people talk about all things agriculture. She has traveled the world busting pseudoscience and speaking to the importance of only trusting proven science, especially in agriculture and food consumption.

D’Entremont gave tips on how to communicate affectively, using relatable language without bombarding with figures and graphs.

Ally Perry from the Center of Food Integrity (CFI) offered perspective on why consumers are so concerned about their food and don’t trust the food industry. She encouraged ag leaders to share their values, embrace skepticism and put the “why” before the science in conversations.

To kick-off the second day of the program, Wixted & Company presented a communications workshop with tips for interviews, followed by a sustainability and pollinator panel led by ASA Director Wayne Fredericks, Bayer Crop Science’s Iain Kelly and BASF’s Gary Schmitz.

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Soybean leaders enjoyed a dinner of create-your-own stir-fry before trivia.

Farmers and social media gurus Jenny Rohrich, Dave Walton and Quint Pottinger provided insight on how those in the ag industry can affectively use different social platforms to tell their stories and share the truth about where food comes from.Soybean leaders enjoyed a dinner of create-your-own stir-fry before trivia.

Rounding out the program were sessions on financial management, diversity in agriculture and an opportunity to ask ASA grower leaders questions about the association. Participants got the chance to make new friends and win prizes during the Soybean Leadership College Trivia Night and Dinner. Teams got into the competitive spirit as they shared their knowledge of history, sports, soybeans, music and more.

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(From left to right) SciBabe Yvette d’Entremont , Jenny Rohrich and Dave Walton prepare to discuss agriculture, science and communication in a live chat on Facebook.

Crystal Dau, a Kansas State University senior studying agronomy, said she left Soybean Leadership College with some new perspectives and tips.

“It’s been really refreshing to meet different soybean leaders from across the U.S. and come together to be further educated on how to share views about ag and what we’re doing and be the face for farming for consumers,” she said. “My favorite part has been meeting people because our experiences with soybeans are different across the U.S. and our farming practices vary –and I’m excited to go back into the industry after graduation and use some of the things I’ve learned here and incorporate the information to make better recommendations for farmers.”

Click here to see more photos from the 2017 Soybean Leadership College! 

ASA thanks the following corporate partners and state QSSB organizations for sponsoring the 2017 Soybean Leadership College:

Corporate Partners:

  • BASF
  • Bayer Crop Science
  • Bunge
  • Farm Credit Council

State QSSB Sponsors:

• Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board

• Delaware Soybean Board

• Illinois Soybean Association

• Indiana Soybean Alliance

• Iowa Soybean Association

• Kansas Soybean Commission

• Kentucky Soybean 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, Inc.

• North Dakota Soybean Council

• Ohio Soybean Board

• South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council

• Tennessee Soybean Promotion Board

• Virginia Soybean Board