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Soybean growers warn White House against withdrawal from KORUS

• Sep 8, 2017 at 8:00 AM

In response to indications that the White House is preparing a withdrawal from the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA) issued a stern warning that withdrawal from the pact — and the larger strategy of brinkmanship with regard to trade agreements by the White House — could have disastrous consequences for the nation’s soybean farmers.

“Trade helps our country, Mr. President, and withdrawal from KORUS would hurt us all,” ASA President Ron Moore said in a statement addressing the matter directly with President Donald Trump. “As soybean farmers, we benefit greatly from exports, which contribute a $2 billion annual surplus to our nation’s balance of trade. Trade makes our local businesses and our communities stronger. Yet whether it’s South Korea, Mexico and Canada, or our neighbors on the Pacific Rim, we once again find ourselves fighting to communicate the value of trade to farmers.

Read more about this subject here.

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ASA supports nominations of Northey, Ibach to USDA under secretary posts

The American Soybean Association (ASA) announced its support for the nominations of Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey and Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach to serve the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation and Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, respectively.

"Bill has been an exceptional public servant for Iowa farmers and we have no doubt that he will continue in this role on behalf of all American farmers at USDA," said ASA Vice President and Keota, Iowa, farmer John Heisdorffer. "Bill has always been both an open book and an open door to farmers. His accessibility and transparency as an advocate for farmers is something that will make him an excellent member of the team at USDA."

ASA Director Ken Boswell, who farms in Shickley, Neb., gave similar praise to Ibach. "Greg is a person that understands very well how different agricultural issues connect -- how row crop farmers rely on the livestock industry and how everyone in agriculture depends on consumers, both at home and abroad. That understanding will serve him and all of us very well."

In addition to supporting Northey and Ibach, ASA urged the Senate Agriculture Committee to take up both nominations, along with that of Stephen Vaden as USDA General Counsel, as soon as possible.

"It's no secret that farm country has serious needs that require immediate solutions, be they the dire situation facing producers in Texas following Hurricane Harvey , or the continuing pressure from low crop prices and farm income," said ASA President and Illinois farmer Ron Moore. "Secretary Sonny Perdue has done an admirable job of sitting down with farmers all across the country to hear our concerns and our hopes, but he can't do it alone. We hope that the Senate will take up and quickly confirm these nominations to help bring USDA to the staffing level it needs to be successful and effective."

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Application deadline for Conservation Legacy Awards extended to Sept. 15

Share the story of how conservation is part of your farm operation, and you could be recognized with a Conservation Legacy Award at the next Commodity Classic, Feb. 27 to March 1 in Anaheim, Calif.

This program showcases farm management practices of U.S. soybean producers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. If you’re using conservation practices on your farm such as cover crops, reduced tillage, or other valuable conservation practices, don’t miss your opportunity to apply for this award.

The deadline to enter is extended to Sept. 15.

All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible to enter to win a Conservation Legacy Award. Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, conservation, environmental management and sustainability. Three regional winners and one national winner are selected.

Award Winners Receive:

• An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, Feb. 27 – March 1, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif.

• Recognition at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic.

• A feature on your farm and conservation practices in Corn & Soybean Digest and a special online video.

• Potential opportunity to join other farmer-leaders on a trip to visit international customers of U.S. soybeans.

The Conservation Legacy Awards are sponsored by the American Soybean Association, BASF, Corn & Soybean Digest, Monsanto, the United Soybean Board/soybean checkoff and Valent. More information on past winners of the award and how to submit your application is available here.

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