PRINCETON, Ky. — When Gerry Hayden joined the Kentucky Soybean Association (KSA) in 1995, there’s no way he could have predicted his path of service to his fellow farmers, or how long he would be involved with the organization.
Hayden completed his third, three-year term on the American Soybean Association Board in December, and in his words, “It’s been a ride!” After being elected to the KSA Board in 1999, Gerry was elected Vice-President of KSA in 2001 and served as President from 2003 to 2005. He wasn’t just a name on the directory, either. Gerry got right to work in both Frankfort and Washington, D.C., and was a big believer in recruiting other farmers to join the Association. He was among the top 10 soybean association recruiters in the country in 2003, and was recognized with the American Soybean Association (ASA) Lifetime Achievement Award, Membership Focus, in 2009. He earned the KSA Eddie Voils Leadership Award in 2002.
In addition to his service on the Association board, Gerry has served on the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board since 2001, where he was chairman in 2011 and 2012. He was elected by the KSA board to serve as one of Kentucky’s American Soybean Association directors in 2013 and served in that capacity until last month.
Our friends at the National level put him right to work, as well. Gerry was tapped to serve on the Commodity Classic Joint Venture Committee where he served as co-chair in 2018 and 2022.
In addition to his Association duties, Hayden was heavily involved in the Soy Transportation Coalition during his tenure. He was selected as Kentucky’s representative when Kentucky joined the Coalition in 2010 and served as a general Board Member then in leadership as Secretary/Treasurer, Vice Chairman, and as Chairman, concluding his service to STC in 2019.
As if all of those responsibilities weren’t enough, Hayden was chosen by ASA to serve as its representative to the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Board, beginning in 2017. This market development program identifies emerging markets for U.S. soy, and helps to establish a preference for soy from our country over soy from other areas. Once the market is up and running, it is turned over to the U.S. Soy Export Council (USSEC) for further growth.
Hayden’s retirement from the American Soybean Association Board leaves some big shoes to fill, and the farmer-leaders of the Kentucky Soybean Association have elected Jeff King of Corydon for this role. King was elected by the farmers in his area to the KSA board in 2011, where he served until 2021. He was appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles to the promotion board in 2021, and he also serves as one of Kentucky’s two representatives to the Southern Soybean Research Program. Jeff has served as Chairman of the Production and Yield/Quality Contest Committee, and he’s been instrumental in the success of our Intensive Soybean Management Workshops.
King is an active member of his community, serving on his local volunteer fire department. He and wife Leah are active in Corydon Missionary Baptist Church, and King was active in Henderson County Farm Bureau for more than two decades. His “day job” is as a retail manager for with Pioneer.
We recognize Gerry Hayden’s selfless dedication to the Kentucky Soybean Association, the Kentucky Soybean Board, and the American Soybean Association, and look forward to working with Jeff King as he assumes this new role. Our volunteer farmer-leaders are true leaders, and we appreciate their willingness to serve.
— Kentucky Soybean Association