(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo) – Missouri’s soybean farmers are investing in the future with the Policy Leaders Fellowship (PLF) program. In partnership with Iowa soybean growers, the program offers leadership training, networking opportunities, and hands-on work with policy, government and legislative processes.
“The Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) is a farmer-led organization with strong grassroots support, and we’re very proud of that foundation,” said Matt Wright, Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) president. “Investing in the next generation of agricultural and policy leaders is key to serving Missouri’s soybean farmers. Our impact grows as we work together, and this is a great step forward for ensuring soybeans are front and center in Missouri and the Midwest well into the future.”
PLF is a collaborative, one-year experience for soybean farmers who possess a desire to learn more about government and the legislative process, all while improving their core leadership skills. PLF will give participants a deep understanding of policies, laws and regulations that affect agriculture, the soybean industry and rural America. Weaving travel and social interaction into the program curriculum, participants will become aware of the role a unified voice can play in today’s political atmosphere.
“In an industry that seems to be under constant scrutiny, having people to effectively communicate on its behalf is critical,” said Baylee Asbury, Missouri Soybeans director of education and outreach. “PLF not only allows producers to take a deep dive into the policy process but also connect with leaders in the industry and have a better understanding of why the power of partnership is so important. Our partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association is what takes this program to the next level and offers an invaluable asset.”
One applicant will be selected from each crop reporting district in Iowa (9) and Missouri (7). The strongest candidates will have an interest in agricultural policy education and be active members of their state soybean associations. Applications may be submitted online at mosoy.org/fellow through July 31.
“PLF was a great experience with some of the greatest people involved,” said past participant, Ryan Wilson, a farmer from Southeast Missouri. “Missouri Soybeans put together an immersive experience that provides opportunities I would not have otherwise had. During the program, I gained a better understanding of what MSA does in terms of enacting pivotal policy and how I could get more involved.”
The program will kick off August 24-25 in Jefferson City at the Center for Soy Innovation, with a joint meeting of participants from Iowa and Missouri, as well as national-level speakers and mentors. Key components of the program will include participants’ opportunities to:
- Network with fellow producers, industry professionals and key decision-makers;
- Build a foundational understanding of the legislative and regulatory process; and
- Develop and strengthen personal leadership skills.
This educational program is made possible by the partial funding of the Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff and the premier sponsor, Bayer Crop Sciences. Information is only for educational purposes and not intended to influence legislation or government policy.
To find out more about the program, visit mosoy.org or check out the latest issue of the Missouri Soybean Farmer for a feature on PLF.