ASA President’s Message: First Quarter 2020

Mar 19, 2020

Hello Soy Family,

As we wrap up an eventful first quarter of 2020 and move into spring, I want to echo the theme of our recent Commodity Classic, “2020 See Your Future Clearly.” This year we commemorate ASA's 100th anniversary and 100 years of advocacy work for U.S. soybean farmers. While we are proud to celebrate this milestone, our focus is now shifting to the next 100 years and how we can make an advocacy group like ours relevant in the future.

For the first time, the ASA Board of Directors meeting will be held virtually instead of in Washington D.C. due to ongoing travel concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus. Although we would rather be in Washington advocating in person, these virtual sessions will allow us to look towards the future and see how we can further expand our methods of communicating with and educating policymakers about the needs of soybean farmers and how those needs fit into a healthy global picture for our country.

I encourage everyone at this time to look to ASA communications to stay up to date on our current policy priorities—farm economy, trade, infrastructure, and biodiesel—so that when the opportunity to advocate arises, soy growers will have the loudest voice.

Our overarching goal continues to be to provide profitability and help the American soybean farmer by working with the Administration and Congress to encourage efforts to increase the demand for soybeans both domestically and abroad. As the Phase 1 agreement with China is monitored and the wait for Canada’s ratification of USMCA continues, we’re optimistic about the progress of new free trade agreements in Europe and Asia.

WOTUS was a big win this year, as well as Army Corps of Engineer Work Plan funding for the planning phases of the lower Mississippi River deepening project. ASA will continue to support improvements to our infrastructure system to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

On the biodiesel front, we were grateful to Congress for its support of the tax credit and will continue to push for an increase in annual RFS volumes, as well as favorable implementation. Whether EPA will appeal the court’s unanimous ruling on the handling of Small Refinery Exemptions is in question right now, with everyone anxiously awaiting that decision March 24.

Communication during this time is extremely important. Whether you're representing soybeans in Washington D.C. or your home state, we all must stay connected and work together as we look to the future for the next century of soy.

Bill Gordon
President, American Soybean Association