American Soybean Association (ASA) President Steve Wellman has confirmed 16 soybean growers from nine states to ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Committee in 2012-13. WISHH Committee Members reelected David Iverson of South Dakota as chair and Andy Welden of Michigan as vice chair. Illinois grower Dan Farney is the new treasurer. Lucas Heinen of Kansas now serves as secretary. 

New WISHH Committee Members for 2012-13 are: Gary Berg (Ill.); Ron Bunjer (Minn.); Ryan Cahoon (N.C.); Dean Coleman (Iowa); Levi Huffman (Ind.); Mike Marron (Ill.); Joe Murphy (Ill.), and Art Wosick (N.D.). Returning to the Committee are Scott Fritz (Ind.); Monica McCranie (S.D.); Darrel McGriff (Ind.), and Randy Van Kooten (Iowa). United Soybean Board Director Mary Lou Smith (Mich.), and Drew Klein, representing the U.S. Soybean Export Council, serve as ex-officio members of the Committee.  

Wellman and Iverson recognize outgoing WISHH Members: Ken Bartlett (N.C.); Pat Dumoulin (Ill.); C.W. Gaffner (Ill.); Jared Hagert (N.D.); John Heisdorffer (Iowa); Barb Overlie (Minn.), and Jack Trumbo (Ky.). 

“ASA thanks the visionary farmers who have led and those who will now lead WISHH to new market frontiers for U.S. soy,” said Wellman. “Building overseas markets for any product takes years, but WISHH has already created new markets for our soy in Africa and beyond.”

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) science white paper released on July 24, highlights the importance of developing countries. It leads with, “The future success of U.S. agriculture is tied to economic growth in the developing world. These countries play a vital role in expanding feed and food export markets…”

The USDA paper also cites the world population is estimated at 7 billion as of May 2012 and will increase to more than 9 billion by 2050. Currently, nearly one billion people globally are estimated to be food insecure, with 44 percent residing in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to USDA Economist Shahla Shapouri.  

“Growing populations and increasing incomes are driving demand for U.S. soy protein in developing countries,” said Iverson. “We look forward to working with the many developing country entrepreneurs and organizations that are eager to use U.S. soy to improve the diets as well as economic opportunities in these countries.” 

Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, WISHH has worked in 23 countries to improve diets, as well as encourage growth of food industries. The WISHH program is managed from ASA’s world headquarters in Saint Louis. For more information, visit www.wishh.org

Video interviews by WISHH Committee Members are available at www.youtube.com/user/WISHHSoybeans