Soybean Leadership College


Announcing the 2018 Soybean Leadership College!

January 9 – 10, 2018
Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Charles
Two Convention Center Plaza
St. Charles, MO  63303

We hope you are planning to attend the 2018 Soybean Leadership College January 9 – 10, 2018! The two-day conference will provide 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 networking with growers from across the country.

New for 2018, ASA is partnering with Ag Leader Source on a session, “Serving as a leader in Today’s Agricultural Organizations,” designed to provide new state and national Board members with tools including strategic thinking and board member expectations.  We are excited about this opportunity to enrich our organizational effectiveness.

In addition to the Ag Leader Source session, the 2018 Soybean Leadership College will feature the following:

“The Big Picture – Agriculture looks at 2018”

  • Matt Roberts, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

“A Tale of Two Soybean Organizations”

  • A panel discussion featuring the grower leaders of both the American Soybean Association and United Soybean Board

“Who, What, Where, When and How – How to talk to (almost) anyone about agriculture”

  • Alyson Perry, The Center for Food Integrity

The program will also feature sessions on trade and sustainability.

Draft Agenda

     2018 Soybean Leadership College Registration    

We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis!

2018 Soybean Leadership College Speaker Bios


Commodity Broker turned Professor turned Entrepreneur turned Speaker, Dr. Matt Roberts has shared his outlook on grain, energy and macro markets over 600 times around the country since starting at Ohio State in 2001. Dr. Roberts’ energy is matched only by his ability to break down the complex issues of the day and communicate them in an engaging and memorable manner that your audience won’t forget. When it comes to controversial topics, you’ll be amazed at Dr. Roberts’ ability to challenge your audience’s thinking in a friendly and non-confrontational way, honed by 15 years in front of farmers from around the world, talking about everything from the impacts of biofuels to the economics of cap-and-trade to the challenges we face as a society in providing health care. Dr. Roberts’ presentations combine the passion of the Baptist preachers of his youth with the knowledge of an Land Grant Agricultural Economist and the wisdom of accumulated over 25 years as a salesman, broker, trader, dad, grandpa and husband.

Matt is a native of Bolivar, MO, where he grew up in the markets, opening his first online trading account in 1986 (that’s not a typo!), trading stocks from the back room of the family Chevrolet Dealership. By 1996, Matt was a commodity and energy derivatives broker in the Vienna, Austria office of CA Global Futures. Matt has traded or brokered almost everything, from azuki beans to Waste Management shares—stocks, bonds, futures, options, and over-the-counter derivatives. Complementing his market experience, Dr. Roberts spent 9 months in the Office of the Chief Economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, DC, sitting in on enforcement and rule-making at the center of today’s markets.

When it comes to the markets, Dr. Roberts is an active researcher, consultant and speaker, and has been quoted in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, has appeared on CNBC and is a frequent contributor to AgDay TV. Dr. Roberts taught economics and grain marketing at The Ohio State University for 15 years, publishing in multiple journals on technical analysis, commodity markets, and electricity markets. Dr. Roberts is not just a teacher of business. He is also co-owner of Vertical Adventures, a chain of indoor rock climbing gyms in Central Ohio, for which he has negotiated multiple debt, equity, and real estate transactions. Dr. Roberts is currently serving his second term as a Director of USA Climbing, the US Olympic Committee-recognized National Governing Body of Competition Climbing in the US.


Allyson Perry joined The Center for Food Integrity in July 2009. Her roots run deep in agriculture, and she is passionate about building trust in the food system. She grew up on a farm and worked in the pork industry for 18 years’ in public affairs, government affairs and human resources, and she was a pork producer herself.

Allyson is a top-notch communicator who prides herself on creating win/win situations and exercising basic common sense in a world that’s not always logical. She is a former member of the Missouri Pork Producers and is on the executive board of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa—the largest association of ag retailers in the nation—having served as the first female chairperson.

In her spare time, she sings in three choirs at church and serves on the leadership team for the chancel choir. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Special Thanks to the 2018 Soybean Leadership College Sponsors

Corporate Partners:

FMC logo

State QSSB Sponsors:

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

For additional information please contact:

Christine Luelf
American Soybean Association
12125 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63141
Ph. 314-754-1291


Highlights from the 2017 Soybean Leadership College

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.


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.


(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