Teresa Brandenburg’s Update from the 2017 Kansas Soybean Expo

(Teresa Brandenburg) Hi, I’m Teresa Brandenburg I am the Chairperson of the 2017 Kansas Soybean Expo. We are so excited to be here today with all of these farmers from across this state, and really just round out a great day of education, and fellowship, and coming together to be off the farm and to see how other people are doing things, and to really learn and grow as producers. Kansas Soybean is actually made up of two separate groups. We have the Kansas Soybean Commission, which manages the Checkoff dollars. Then, we have the Kansas Soybean Association. The Kansas Soybean Association is actually the policy and membership organization. The Soybean Commission is not allowed to use Checkoff dollars for any sort of legislative action. And that’s when the Association really steps in. Our focus is to make sure that Soybean farmers are represented in both Topeka and Washington DC, and that we’re allowed to farm the way that we need to farm to not only be profitable, but to be the stewards of that land that we know that we are, as well as to leave a legacy for our children to really pass that farm on. The Kansas Soybean Expo is actually only one small part of what the Association does. It’s obviously the most visible thing because we all get together and this is where we hold our annual meeting, but the Board of Directors actually meets periodically throughout the year to continue doing the work. We all are members of parts of two committees, as Directors on the Board, and we work doing things like policy issues, we’re constantly monitoring legislative issues. We work for membership, to make sure that your membership dollars are a good value for you personally. We work to be sure we have a strategic plan and a vision for what’s happening for the next year for the Association, and we also work to manage things internally. We have a staff here in Topeka that is working for us daily. As Board of Directors we’re responsible for making sure that the work being done is what producers really need to have happening. We all know how hard it is to get away; there are always chores to be done, equipment to be maintained; the weather’s never going to cooperate; but we really feel like this is a worthwhile day. Some folks coming for an hour, some folks come six to come to this Expo. But we work really hard to make sure that if you’re going to come you’re going to learn about technologies, we’re going to talk about things that are relevant to every single farmer, and you’re going to learn new ways to market. You’re going to learn new ways to produce. You’re going to learn new ways to manage weeds or what’s coming down the pipeline as far as policy issues. We really want to make sure that you’re in the know because farming is changing. It’s not the same farm that our parents or grandparents had, and it’s so much more connected to the rest of the world and it’s really important leave the farm and to communicate with other farmers and know what they’re doing so that you can be profitable as well as be able to maintain and make a living. We are always asking people to support the work we do, because the Commission dollars can’t support policy issues and we all know as farmers we’re facing an uphill legislative battle. It’s really important that we have people standing and producers standing as a united front. If you’re interested becoming a member of the Kansas Soybean Association visit www.kansassoybeans.org you can find information there about how to become a member, contact our office in Topeka and if you’d like to be more involved, please, let us know. We’re always happy to have farmers working alongside of us; the more voices we have united, the stronger we are.

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