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Quick Take: Soybean checkoff brings in new leaders, Walmart funds Precision Conservation Management, survey looks at farm stress, and LaSalle County hosts next nutrient field day.

August 10, 2023

3 Min Read
Ron Kindred poses near a soybean plant
CHAIR: Ron Kindred, Atlanta, Ill., is the new chair of the Illinois Soybean Association board, which governs soybean checkoff programming. Courtesy of ISA

Illinois Soybean board gets new leadership

Members of the Illinois Soybean Association board of directors met in late July to elect Ron Kindred as chairman. They also elected Brad Daugherty as vice chairman, Tim Scates as secretary, Bryan Severs as treasurer, Dwayne Anderson as assistant secretary-treasurer, Steve Pitstick as government relations chair, Brian Atteberry as market development chair and Brady Holst as soybean production chair.

Heath Houck of Nokomis, Ill., joined the ISA as District 13 director, replacing Ed Murphy of Farmersville, Ill. 

Kindred served as vice chair for two years and farms near Atlanta, Ill., with his wife, Jayne, and son, Jay. He’s also served as vice president of the Illinois Soybean Association. The ISA board is the checkoff organization for Illinois soybean growers, with 18 district directors and six at-large directors.

“I am honored and excited to serve as chairman of ISA this next year,” Kindred says. “I want to continue to grow our collaboration with other ag groups. I want to expand the services we provide to Illinois soybean farmers, grow demand for our soybeans and continue being the leader on soybean issues in Springfield and Washington, D.C. It is a very exciting time for me to be chairman of this great organization.” 

Walmart throws weight behind PCM program

For the first time ever, Walmart is working directly with farmers to offer a voluntary approach to conservation practices. Walmart is partnering with PepsiCo, which made a $216 million multiyear investment this past spring into several farmer-facing organizations, including Practical Farmers of Iowa, Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, and the Precision Conservation Management program — a joint conservation program of IL Corn and the Illinois Soybean Association.

Their goal: Encourage farmers to adopt regenerative ag practices across the U.S. They define “regenerative ag” as a focus on sustainable farming methods that enhance soil health, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

According to IL Corn, bringing on board a major company like Walmart will help spread conservation awareness and allocate additional funds for other conservation programs that PepsiCo might initiate.

PCM Director Greg Goodwin says, “We are thrilled for Walmart to be a part of the many supporters of the PCM program. These joint partnerships remain undeniably important to the success of the program and for farmers in Illinois, Kentucky and Nebraska.”

How high is the stress level on your farm?

The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety and the University of Illinois are surveying both farm and nonfarm families. Their goal? To better understand how adults and adolescents experience family stress. They’ll use the results to develop programs and resources to help folks reduce stress and improve resiliency.

They’re looking for respondents in both farm and nonfarm households, and for adolescents ages 13 to 17. Up to three family members can participate in the online survey, and every participant receives a $10 Amazon gift card.

To learn more and participate, visit them online.

Head to LaSalle County for nutrient news

The LaSalle County Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois will host a nutrient stewardship field day, the next in a series of similar field days across the state highlighting biologicals and genetic technology to improve nutrient efficiency. The field day will be held Aug. 15 from 3 to 6 p.m., and dinner is included.

For the field day, head to 1935 N. 12th Road, Streator, IL 61364. 

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