TOPEKA, Kan. — About 230 soybean enthusiasts gathered Jan. 9 in Topeka for Kansas Soybean Expo 2019. The Kansas Soybean Association (KSA) organized the annual event, with checkoff funding from the Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC), to coincide with the Topeka Farm Show at the Kansas Expocentre.
“We were really excited to have so many farmers and friends of the industry join us,” said KSA Second Vice President Teresa Brandenburg, Osborne, who chaired the Expo planning committee. “It was a great day to network and advance the association’s and commission’s commitments to producer education.”
KSA President Lucas Heinen, Everest, and KSC Chairman Kurt Maurath, Oakley, welcomed the attendees. The opening session featured updates from checkoff-partner organizations. The main presenters were Thaddaeus Babb, waterways program manager for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, and Ed Anderson, Ph.D., executive director of the North Central Soybean Research Program. Mike Hucker, Southwest Region general manager for Consolidated Grain & Barge Co., and Steve Taylor, Port 33 director for Bruce Oakley Inc., assisted Babb.
The keynote speaker, Bob Farmer with Farmers’ Almanac, entertained the audience with his down-home, humorous storytelling, anecdotes, remedies and practical tips for better communication.
“Bob helped us think and laugh about the funny things we do in life,” said Charles Atkinson, Great Bend, KSA’s representative on the American Soybean Association (ASA) board of directors and a member of the Expo planning committee. “He used humor and a positive outlook to deliver a meaningful, memorable message.”
Tom Brand, executive director of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, was the master of ceremonies at the luncheon. The featured speaker was Lt. Gov.-elect Lynn Rogers. He discussed the incoming administration’s plans for collaborative problem-solving to tackle issues of rural prosperity.
During the awards and recognitions, the Meritorious Service Award went to Charles Hamon, Valley Falls. He was the first KSC chairman in 1977 and elected ASA president in 1981. One of his most memorable experiences was traveling to China to open the ASA International Marketing office in Beijing. He also traveled to the Soviet Union to assure trading partners of a reliable supply of U.S. soybeans during the trade embargo. Finally, he remembered snacking on a few of the famous jelly beans always in a jar on President Ronald Reagan’s desk during a meeting about soybean issues.
Administrative Assistant Mary Lou Dillman, Topeka, who will retire Jan. 31, was recognized for nearly 22 years of service to KSA and KSC. In addition to being the “director of first impressions,” as Brand described her, Dillman’s duties once included youth-education presentations, primarily to third- and fourth-grade classes across the state, earning her the “Soybean Lady” moniker.
Heinen acknowledged Raylen Phelon, Melvern; Doug Shoup, Scranton; and Grant Webber, Sublette, as they left the KSA board. Maurath thanked Jim Zwonitzer, Horton, for his KSC service, which began in 2004.
Heinen presided over the KSA annual meeting. Atkinson outlined ASA’s policy successes in 2018 and priorities for 2019. First Vice President Dwight Meyer, Hiawatha, who chairs KSA’s policy committee, presented the guiding resolutions for 2019, which the voting members present accepted. The board elections resulted in Brett Neibling, Highland, as the director for District 1 and Andy Winsor, Grantville, continuing as a director-at-large. The District 7 directorship became vacant, and the board will fill that position at a later date.
The KSA directors gathered afterward to elect their 2019 officers: Meyer (Hiawatha), president; Brandenburg (Osborne), first vice president; Scott Gigstad, Everest, second vice president; Gail Kueser, Garnett, secretary; and Gary Robbins, Emmett, treasurer. As the immediate past president, Heinen (Everest) will serve as chairman.
Kim Kohls, Moundridge, announced the district and overall winners in the Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests. Love & Love Farms, Montezuma, topped the statewide irrigated division with a conventional-tillage entry that made 104.14 bushels per acre – the contest’s new record and only the second entry ever to document more than 100 bushels. Matt Geiger, Denton, led the dryland division with a conventional-tillage entry of 94.10 bushels per acre. Kole McCauley, Leona, won the value contest with $1.037 per bushel of increased value (12.1 percent over the cash price). Complete results and award photos will be available via http://KansasSoybeans.org/contests on the web.
Participants then heard three K-State Research and Extension updates.
- “Increasing the Rate of Genetic Gain for Yield in Soybean-breeding Programs” by Bill Schapaugh, Ph.D., soybean breeder
- “Dicamba: A Look Back and a Look Ahead” by Dallas Peterson, Ph.D., weed-science specialist
- “Soybean Price Outlook: How Low for How Long?” by Joe Janzen, Ph.D., assistant professor of agricultural economics
The day’s program concluded with David Schemm, Sharon Springs, state executive director of the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency, who provided a special update about federal programs related to commodities and disasters, natural-resources conservation, and agricultural credit.
— Kansas Soybean
For more news from Kansas, click here.