Farmers from a number of soybean-producing states will tour Tennessee and Kansas agriculture in August as part of a new Regional Exchange and Awareness Program or REAP sponsored by the American Soybean Association and Nitragin, Inc.
“This program provides a valuable opportunity for growers to learn about the needs of farmers in other regions of the country,” said ASA Chairman Bob Metz of South Dakota. “The knowledge gained by participants on the REAP tour is crucial as ASA develops national policy strategies.”
The Tennessee and Kansas Soybean Associations will host the tours.
REAP is designed to enrich ASA member understanding of agricultural issues in different parts of the country, said Metz. It also highlights agriculture production and industry unique to each region and gives delegates the chance to get to know and learn from one another, benefiting the member-driven policy work of ASA and the soybean industry as a whole.
“We at Nitragin are thrilled to sponsor a program that allows soybean growers to share their expertise and skills and work to advance practices that maximize production around the country,” says Scott Fleetwood, vice president of sales and marketing for Nitragin, Inc. “These tours will be an excellent channel for that sharing to take place.
Aug. 2-6, TSA will lead growers from 10 states and Ontario, Canada, including Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin on a tour of Tennessee agriculture.
While in Tennessee, stops for the REAP participants will include a visit to the Ellington Agricultural Center and Museum in Nashville, several farm tours that include cotton and tobacco, a biodiesel electrical generating facility, Agricenter International in Memphis, research on Asian Soybean Rust and a Solae tour.
Then, Aug. 15-29, KSA will host growers from eight states, including Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and North Carolina on a unique tour of Kansas Agriculture.
While in Kansas, REAP participants will meet with Kansas political leaders, including Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky, then travel to and explore the agriculture in and around Manhattan, Salina, the Flint Hills, Great Bend and Hutchinson. Stops will include the International Grains Building, the new Bi-VAP facility, Kansas State University Research Farm, Cheyenne Bottoms wildlife refuge and several local farm tours.
While showcasing the regional similarities and differences in agriculture, REAP helps U.S. soybean producers build the relationships necessary to maintain strong and proactive voices on behalf of farm-related legislative priorities in Washington, D.C. The REAP program also aids ASA directors in becoming more effective in Washington, D.C. through a better understanding of soybean production throughout the country.