ORLANDO, Fla. — The American Soybean Association recognized Parks Wells, Tennessee, with its Distinguished Leadership Award during an awards ceremony held at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.
The ASA Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes a soybean grower or association staff leader who has shown a high level of dedication and successfully led others to meet goals and achieve successes to benefit soybean farmers.
Parks Wells began his career at the Tennessee Soybean Association in 1991, with a goal to build an active and productive organization. From the beginning, Wells worked to build the soy policy development and advocacy area of the state association from the ground up, forming relationships with local and state elected officials and other leaders that allowed his association’s policy efforts to flourish. After more than 30 years as executive director, Wells moved into the emeritus role last year.
During his time as executive director, Wells regularly met with farmers, industry leaders and government leaders to discuss issues benefiting Tennessee soybean growers.
“Parks devoted his career to building successful relationships and a strong soybean association, always leading by example with grassroots efforts—participating in farmer activities and education, speaking to schools and other groups, and presenting at various industry meetings and conferences,” said ASA President Daryl Cates, an Illinois soy farmer. “His dedication and passion laid the groundwork for strong soy policy advocacy in Tennessee, and ASA is honored to recognize Parks as the distinguished leader he is.”
In 1994, Wells, along with the Martin, Tennessee, mayor at that time, was fundamental in the creation of the Tennessee Soybean Festival. The annual week-long event is now attended by thousands of people and celebrates agriculture, soy farmers and the versatile soybean.
With his wealth of knowledge about soybean production, marketing, research and policy, Wells has consistently led and guided his state association’s farmer leaders and board members for more than three decades.
The Tennessee Soybean Association, based in Jackson, Tennessee, is a strong and thriving organization in large part because of his dedicated leadership.
–American Soybean Association