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Bill Gordon, right, current ASA president, and Darrell Bowman, grandson of Taylor Fouts, recognized as ASA’s first president Tom J. Bechman
HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT: The American Soybean Association celebrates its 100th year of service to farmers. This permanent marker denotes that the organization formed on the Fouts farm in Carroll County, Ind., in 1920. Shown are Bill Gordon (right), current ASA president, and Darrell Bowman, grandson of Taylor Fouts, recognized as ASA’s first president.

American Soybean Association celebrates 100 years

A special event was held at the organization’s birthplace in Indiana.

Even the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop growers and industry supporters from all over the country from gathering at the farm where the American Soybean Association has its roots, dating back 100 years. On Aug. 4, nearly 200 people gathered live, and many more around the country via the internet, to watch the ceremonies at Fouts Soyland Farm near Camden in Carroll County, Ind.

“Three brothers took a leap of faith here 100 years ago, and that’s why it’s important to return here today and mark the occasion,” ASA President Bill Gordon told the crowd. Gordon hails from Worthington, Minn.

Taylor, Noah and Finis Fouts were growing soybeans. On Sept. 3, 1920, they hosted a field day on their farm, and nearly 1,000 farmers from six states attended. Before the day ended, the National Soybean Growers Association was formed, with Taylor Fouts elected as the first president. The name was changed a few years later to the American Soybean Association.

“What if these brothers hadn’t stepped out and did what they did?” Gordon asked. “There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ in the history of ASA.

“We are fortunate that people didn’t let the ‘what ifs’ stop them, and stepped forward to take action and address the issues of the day related to our industry. That’s true throughout the history of ASA, and will continue to be true in the future.”

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