ISA to Unveil New Exhibit Featuring Kenny Wallace and ?Other Guest Speakers at the 2011 Farm Progress Show

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) will be unveiling a new exhibit at this year's Farm Progress Show – August 30 through September 1 – in Decaturl. Funded in part by the Illinois soybean checkoff, the exhibit will honor Illinois soybean farmers' Legacy of Leadership and feature informative displays illustrating how Illinois soybean farmers are leading the way in animal agriculture, soybean market development, soybean research and new uses for soybeans. It also will include one of the only air-conditioned areas at the show, which will host an array of guest speakers.

Each display within the ISA tent highlights a different aspect of the Illinois soybean industry. From soybean meal consumption to export markets, to a Ford Mustang with seats made of soy-based foam as well as other new uses, show attendees are sure to learn the value of the Illinois soybean checkoff. Several ISA partners also will have displays within the tent, including QUALISOY, the American Lung Association, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, the Illinois Beef Association, the United Soybean Board and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

"We're excited to share the new ISA exhibit with our members and other Farm Progress Show attendees," stated ISA Chairman Matt Hughes. "Farm Progress is the nation's largest farm show, so it provides us with a tremendous opportunity to put ISA and the Illinois soybean checkoff in the forefront of farmers' minds. We're confident that everyone who stops by our tent will benefit from the experience."

Visitors to the ISA tent will have the opportunity to satisfy their need for speed in the Sprint Cup Stars and Stripes NASCAR simulator. The interactive attraction allows participants to sit in an authentic Sprint Cup car that has been converted into a user-controlled racing simulator. Fitted with a unique hydraulic suspension, the car allows drivers to race on any of the 29 tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit.

ISA's hospitality area is booked with an extensive lineup of guest speakers and presentations, including:

    •    Daily Yield Challenge learning sessions, from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. Led by Dan Davidson, ISA's director of strategic research, these presentations will provide first-hand information and experiences from a different team captain and grower each afternoon.

    •    To kick off the show, ISA is hosting a Soy Leaders Breakfast, with a short presentation from spokespersons Jason and Tasha Bunting. The Soy Leaders task force is a new membership recruitment initiative that seeks to engage the next generation of Illinois soybean farmers. Visitors can learn more about this exciting opportunity from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30.

    •    From 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, Brad Matthews, a Market Advisor for Water Street Solutions in Peoria, Ill., will speak on grain marketing and the changing soybean markets.

    •    At noon that same day, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kenny Wallace will stop by the tent for a short meet-and-greet opportunity. Wallace is driver of the Family Farmers race car – funded in part by the Illinois soybean checkoff – and spokesperson for renewable fuels.

    •    Also on Wednesday, Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president at Informa Economics Inc., will give a presentation, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on public affairs issues and how they affect agricultural policies. Wiesemeyer has a long history on the Hill, having frequently reported on and interviewed senior government officials, including Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, as well as several U.S. Department of Agriculture secretaries. He also will serve as keynote speaker for a special members-only breakfast on Thursday, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

    •    Thursday's events will be highlighted with a reception for representatives from some of ISA's international partner organizations, such as the U.S. Grains Council, the U.S. Soybean Export Council and APROSOJA – the Mato Grosso Corn and Soybean Producers Association in Brazil.

Additionally, members are invited to enjoy free members-only lunches. Each meal will include sandwiches, three sides and drinks. Plus, every member is encouraged to bring one guest to lunch – compliments of ISA. This opportunity will allow current members to share their positive experiences as an ISA member with other farmers. While there, these visitors can learn more about the Association and take advantage of the ISA membership month special, which allows individuals to sign up for a discounted rate of $145 – $50 off the standard three-year price!

"We strive to deliver a solid program throughout the Farm Progress Show," Hughes added. "It's important that the people who visit on the last day get as much out of it as the first. That's why we offer events like the members-only breakfast and international welcome reception… to continue providing attendees with something worth seeing."

There's even more for show attendees to do in the ISA tent! They can register to win one of several meat bundles – beef or pork – worth up to $100; download the new ISA smartphone application that gives farmers a quick connection to the latest market and futures prices at their local elevators; and sign up for the Illinois Farm Families sweepstakes for free groceries for a year. The ISA tent also will be a free Wi-Fi hotspot.

The ISA exhibit is located on lot 351 on Third Progress Street between Central and West Progress Avenues, directly across from the Food Court. For a complete agenda of ISA hospitality area events, please visit Additional details on the Farm Progress Show, including ticket prices, maps and other exhibitors is available online at