ASA Honors Willard Jack, MS, with Pinnacle Award

Mar 11, 2023

Orlando, FL. March 10, 2023. The American Soybean Association recognized Willard Jack, retired ASA director and soy farmer from Belzoni, Mississippi, with its top honor during an awards ceremony at Commodity Classic in Orlando.


The Pinnacle Award is an industry-wide recognition of a lifetime of work that demonstrates the highest level of contribution and leadership within the soybean family and industry.


Throughout a farming career spanning 50 years and two countries, Willard Jack has been a strong proponent of embracing new technology and practices, using sustainable farming methods, expanding U.S. soy markets and advocating for sound ag policy on Capitol Hill.


From a farming partnership in Ontario, Canada, Jack and his wife, Laura Lee, moved to Mississippi in 1979 and launched a diversified row crop operation. Jack’s work has been recognized by numerous farming awards, including “Outstanding Soybean Producer,” from the Delta Council in 1990.


Jack has been an active member of the Mississippi Soybean Association since the early 1990s. At that time, he chaired a committee to adopt and promote an updated seed law in Mississippi, which led to the state’s current law. He was also instrumental in development of the Mississippi Agricultural Liming Materials Act of 1993.


As an ASA director from 2015 to 2022, Jack spent many hours discussing important soy policy issues with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. He is an avid believer in the power of soybean farmers to impact policies that benefit the entire industry. Jack’s knowledge of political action committees and active role in planning and preparing for ASA’s PAC meetings were assets to the ASA board and contributed to many successful SoyPAC meetings and events.


“ASA is thrilled to recognize Willard with its highest honor for his immense contributions to the success of the soy industry, including policy advocacy on the federal and state level, helping grow U.S. soy markets around the globe, and sharing his wealth of knowledge with present and future industry leaders,” said ASA President Daryl Cates, an Illinois soy farmer. “It was an honor to serve U.S. soybean growers alongside Willard, and his legacy will remain a positive impact on the industry and his fellow soy growers for years to come.”


During his time with ASA, Jack was committed to promoting the quality and uses of U.S. soybeans in foreign markets, traveling to Morocco, Nepal, China, France and Belgium to speak with customers abroad.

Jack’s well-earned knowledge of farming practices, the quality of U.S. soybeans and the uses of soybeans, along with his dedication and advocacy skills, have helped strengthen the U.S. soybean industry, grow soybean export markets and lay the path for future generations of leaders.