WSA searches for next generation of leaders

Categories: WSAPublished On: July 12, 20231.8 min read

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The Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) is searching for the next generation of leaders. 

The American Soybean Association (ASA) Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program is seeking applicants for their 40th class. As an affiliate of ASA, WSA supports the participation in the program. 

“For 40 years, the Young Leader program has helped identify and train soybean farmers to be leaders in the industry,” said Illinois soybean grower and ASA President Daryl Cates. “The program has had a tremendous impact on soybean advocacy, and you’ll find graduates of the program in various positions throughout the industry. Three members of the current ASA Executive Committee are graduates of the program.” 

Established in 1984, the program identifies and trains new, innovative and engaged growers to serve as the voice of the American farmer. Jake Steffes, who currently represents Wisconsin in the Young Leader Program, is capitalizing on the opportunity. 

“I’ve really enjoyed the Corteva Young Leaders Program,” Steffes said. “It’s been a great experience meeting the other young leaders from across the United States. It’s provided a great opportunity for me to enhance and expand my leadership skills, as well as learn more about farm policy.”  

Soybean growers, both individuals and couples, are encouraged to apply for the program, which focuses on leadership and communication, agriculture trends and information, and the development of a strong and connected network; many graduates of the program will assume leadership roles with their state and national soybean associations. 

Phase I of the 2023-24 Young Leader program will take place Nov. 27-30 at Corteva’s Global Business Center in Johnston, Iowa. The program continues Feb. 27-March 1, 2024, in Houston in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show. 

WSA’s support ensures that the next generation of leaders have the tools available to them to succeed and bring their knowledge back to Wisconsin, benefiting the agriculture industry. 

“The Corteva Young Leaders Program has really gotten me to break out of my shell and take the next step towards becoming a leader in agriculture,” Steffes said. “I would strongly encourage others to participate if given the opportunity.”