ASA looks back on successful 2011

American Soybean Association (ASA) farmer-leaders recently reviewed some of the key accomplishments from a year that saw ASA serve soybean farmers by protecting and increasing the market value and opportunities for U.S. soybeans.

“ASA members play an effective role in domestic and international policy development,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean producer from Syracuse, Neb. “Working with our state affiliates and industry partners, ASA advanced soybean farmer interests in numerous areas in 2011.”

The essential elements of ASA’s 2012 Farm Bill proposal that would help farmers manage risk were included in the Farm Bill developed by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees in 2011.

“Even though the Super Committee process failed, ASA’s collaborative work with Ag Committee leadership and the progress made on a revenue program that complements crop insurance will be key to maintaining our forward momentum toward a Farm Bill next year,” said ASA Chairman Alan Kemper, a soybean producer from Lafayette, Ind. Kemper served as ASA President in 2011.

ASA successfully pressed for passage of free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that represent nearly $3 billion in additional agricultural exports. ASA also worked to maintain access for U.S. soybean exports to the European Union (EU) by addressing the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive.

ASA worked to protect the GPS signals and equipment important to farmers by urging additional testing of the interference caused by a proposed nationwide broadband network.

“Record U.S. soybean production and export values and record biodiesel production were clear indicators of the benefit of ASA’s long-term efforts to increase both domestic and international market demand,” Kemper said. “While we are proud of our work, this is a shared record of accomplishment that was made possible by the work of ASA, our state affiliates, the soybean checkoff at both the national and state levels, and our industry partners.”

“ASA had a highly successful year in 2011 for our members and soybean farmers, and 2012 promises to be a year full of challenges,” Wellman said. “ASA will continue its close involvement in the development of the new Farm Bill; defend biodiesel’s renewable fuel standard and work to extend the biodiesel tax incentive; fight regulatory overreach; and increase market access for U.S. soybeans.”

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