David Wright, director of contract research and strategic initiatives for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), was presented with the Henry A. Wallace award on Friday, Oct. 16.

The award is presented by the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences annually to honor an Iowa State University alumnus who has made an outstanding contribution to national or international agriculture. Selection is made by the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“David has built an incredible reputation for soybean improvement for Iowa,” says Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “With his leadership in research and strategic initiatives for the Iowa Soybean Association, he collaborates with researchers to provide the best long-term and short-term benefits for producers. When Asian soybean rust became a threat, he was one of the first to address the threat and work with Iowa State University to prepare producers. The resulting innovative training program became the foundation for similar programs in more than 20 soybean-producing states.”

Wright joined ISA in July 2001. His responsibilities include providing strategic direction to ISA and providing oversight for soybean research conducted at land-grant universities, including ISU.

He also provides strategic direction to and manages research investments of the North Central Soybean Research Program, a collaboration of 12 state checkoff boards. This novel program pools funding from checkoff boards and invests in research that benefits soybean producers throughout the U.S.

“The staff and farmer leaders of ISA congratulate David on this important award. Iowa’s soybean farmers value our long and close relationship with ISU, and recognize the important role David has played in leading these efforts,” says ISA CEO Kirk Leeds. “More broadly, David is a nationally recognized leader in soybean research. His commitment to building more meaningful and strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors has made a difference for Iowa’s soybean farmers. He is an outstanding choice to receive the Henry A. Wallace award.”

Prior to joining ISA, Wright served as a regional agronomy services manager for Cargill Hybrid Seeds. In this capacity, Wright led Cargill Hybrid Seeds’ U.S. soybean research and development activities. He was also responsible for corn product development and agronomic sales support for the eastern U.S.

He was raised on a row-crop, dairy and livestock farm in central Iowa. He holds a doctorate in agronomy from Kansas State University, and Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees from ISU.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by my alma mater,” says Wright. “The values I learned while growing up on an Iowa farm spurred my desire to help U.S. growers feed the world and have served me well in my career. I look forward to serving Iowa’s soybean growers for years to come.”

Henry A. Wallace was an alumnus of the College of Agriculture, class of 1910, who achieved prominence as editor of Wallace’s Farmer, a paper founded by his grandfather. He served as secretary of agriculture and as vice president of the United States during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

To learn more, visit ISA.