Ankeny, Iowa — Farmers, researchers and state staff from across the Midwest gathered Monday to celebrate 25 years of collaborating together to improve farmer profitability through the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP).
“It seems like just yesterday that we formed NCSRP,” said Dave Schmidt, NCSRP’s first president and farmer from Iowa City, Iowa. “The states weren’t talking to each other about research, researchers weren’t talking to each other about projects and that’s how NCSRP came about; with a common goal and passion for basic research.”
NCSRP is a farmer-led organization that invests soybean checkoff dollars in regional research. Twelve state soybean boards actively participate and fund NCSRP including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The group meets three times a year to discuss research proposals, the progress of current projects, common issues among the states and the direction of future research.
Over the last 25 years the board has funded more than 45 million dollars in soybean research — an investment researchers around the region have noticed.
“I think on behalf of the university researchers across the north central region, we can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done,” said Anne Dorrance, Ph.D., The Ohio State University. “Thank you for your support all these years, without it we would not have been able to double soybean yields in the last 20 years. Thank you for all you’ve done.”
The 12 NCSRP-member states grow nearly 85 percent of the soybeans produced in the United States and represent more than 350,000 farmers. The farmers representing these states on the NCSRP board have a shared vision and commitment to regionally coordinated research and communication efforts. From pest management to farmer communication, the group has had a major impact on the soybean industry at the state, national and regional level.
While it may have had a historical impact on the soybean industry, the directors of NCSRP don’t plan to rest on its past accomplishments.
“It’s pretty amazing what this organization has accomplished in its 25 years of existence,” said Gene Stoel, NCSRP’s current president and farmer from Lake Wilson, Minnesota. “We have to celebrate our successes. Just getting a group of people like this together will bring us more ideas of what we need to do next. We know what we need to get done and we know what we need to research.”
Twenty-five years of innovation and collaboration for the betterment of soybean farmers. With the support of all 12 states, the next 25 are going to be even better.
For more information on NCSRP research, visit soybeanresearchinfo.com. For more information about the Iowa Soybean Association, visit iasoybeans.com.