INDIANAPOLIS — Chris Steele, a sixth-generation soybean farmer from Adams County was selected by the Indiana Soybean Alliance to represent Indiana in the 2018 American Soybean Association DuPont Young Leader program.
Steele will join other U.S. farmers at DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, in November 2018 to develop leadership skills, and to learn more about the soybean industry issues and the role farmers play in telling the farm story. Another program highlight includes attending the 2018 Commodity Classic in Annaheim, Calif., for marketing training, issues updates and recognition at ASA’s annual awards banquet.
“I believe that soybeans have some of the greatest potential for agronomic and functional gain in the ag economy,” said Steele. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with industry professionals and partnering that with leadership skills that could help me in my own career and on our farm.”
ISA is committed to farmer-leadership development through programs such as this.
“The ISA board knows that building up agriculture leaders for the future is vital if Indiana wants to remain an innovative leader in the industry,” said Elaine Gillis, ISA Governance Chair and farmer from Dunkirk, Ind. “It’s a privilege to work with the ASA DuPont Young Leader program to identify future leaders like Chris and provide them with the training and networking needed to hone their leadership skills.”
Steele farms soybeans, corn and pumpkins in Decatur, Ind. He and his family recently diversified their farming operation by adding an agritourism component. The agritourism aspect of the farm has shown Steele the need to educate consumers about agriculture.
“Through our seasonal agritourism business, I get to talk to a lot of visitors who simply do not understand the complexity of agriculture,” Steele said. “Leadership skills give me a platform to serve in my community and to articulate the significance of the agriculture industry. As I serve in my community, I’m able to showcase the many high caliber young farmers who are building and growing their businesses.”
— Indiana Soybean Alliance