Dodge County farmer learns lessons from leadership program

Categories: WSA, WSMBPublished On: May 1, 20242.3 min read

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Leadership is a vital component of the soybean industry. 

Recently, Danny Brisky completed the 40th class of the American Soybean Association (ASA) Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program. This prestigious, two-phase, year-long program took Brisky to Iowa and Texas, where he participated in various leadership building activities focused around the soybean industry. 

“It was an amazing experience,” Brisky said. “I truly enjoyed all of it.” 

Through the program, Brisky realized the size and scope of the soybean industry. 

“It just emphasizes how we’re in a global market,” Brisky said. “It’s not just about what’s happening locally, but you have to look at the bigger picture – not even just countrywide but worldwide.” 

Along with growing soybeans and corn near Columbus, Brisky works as a crop insurance agent for Compeer Financial and is a swine and crop leader for the Astico Perseverance 4-H club. He is also a Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil – Healthy Water member. The tools he developed during the program will not only help him be an advocate for the soybean industry, but also apply to his life outside the farm. 

“The media training and how to conduct an interview was very beneficial,” Brisky said. “I’m using those tips that I learned in my day-to-day life.” 

Brisky also highlighted the connections he made with others from across the country. 

“We built quite a network of peers,” Brisky said. “We’re basically in contact every day through social media and it’s just really fun to keep up with everyone and find out what’s going on in Louisiana compared to South Dakota.” 

Before enrolling in the Young Leader Program, Brisky didn’t know the difference between the Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) and the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB). Now, he’s an expert on the different roles the two organizations have as policy and checkoff organizations, along with their iand their impact on Wisconsin soybean growers. 

“I have a new sense of awareness of how important both WSA and WSMB are in our day-to-day functions,” Brisky said. “Now I understand what our checkoff dollars can be used for compared to WSA dollars. Before, I honestly did not know everything that those organizations were responsible for.” 

Phase I took place in late November 2023 at Corteva’s Global Business Center in Johnston, Iowa. Phase II was in March 2024 in Houston in conjunction with Commodity Classic. The Young Leader program works with the 26 sate affiliates and the Grain Farmers of Ontario to identify the top producers to represent their states. 

“My favorite part of the experience was Commodity Classic (for the first time),” Brisky said. “We were able to participate in the program while also taking advantage of everything that Classic has to offer.” 

To learn more about the 2023-24 Young Leader Class, click here.