WSA welcomes Wisconsin native to advocacy position

Categories: WSA, WSPPublished On: October 18, 20232 min read

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The Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) is excited to welcome Ryan Smith to the team as manager of strategic programs. 

A Wisconsin native, Smith joins WSA equipped with nearly 30 years of experience across Madison’s political sphere.  

“I started out on the bottom rung as a Senate messenger,” Smith said. “Eventually, I ended up as a Senate chief of staff for about 10 years. Then, I was a lobbyist for Wisconsin’s paper industry and director of federal government relations for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.” 

Hailing from Green Bay, Smith earned his political science degree from the University of Wisconsin — Madison.

Since 1973, WSA has worked to ensure that Wisconsin soybean growers have a voice in Madison and Washington, D.C., serving as the number one source of soybean information for legislators and political influencers. With the addition of Smith, WSA is in an even better position to ensure that sound, farm-friendly policies are in place for Wisconsin’s nearly 14,000 soybean farmers. 

“WSA is happy to welcome Ryan as manager of strategic programs as we implement our strategic plan,” WSA President Sara Stelter said. “We are excited that he has joined our organization and look forward to working with him.” 

For Smith, advocating on behalf of soybean growers across the state is a new challenge that he is eager to dive into. 

“I take a lot of pride in being from our state and agriculture is obviously one of the biggest products that our state produces,” Smith said. “Making sure that we have a healthy agricultural economy going forward and to set our farmers up for success in the future are things that are really attractive to me.” 

During Smith’s first few months at WSA, he’ll be focusing on engaging with WSA’s 1,200 members. 

“I look forward to traveling around the state and visiting soybean farm operations,” Smith said. “I want to get out and see them where they work. I want to get to know their operations and specifically what challenges they have as a farmer and what we can do as an organization to help them.” 

As always, WSA will continue advocating on behalf of Wisconsin soybean growers and ensure they have a seat at the policy table.  

“I’m very happy with this opportunity,” Smith said. “I look forward to doing a lot of exciting things for the soybean industry in Wisconsin.”