ST. LOUIS, MO – The American Soybean Association (ASA) recognized Ray Gaesser, from Corning, Iowa, with its Distinguished Leadership Award at its annual awards banquet during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes a soybean grower or association staff leader whose leadership has strengthened the national or state association, enhanced soy-related policy efforts and increased farmer education or engagement.
Gaesser served a number of years on the ASA Board, and was president in 2013-14. He also served on the Iowa Soybean Association board, as well as in multiple state leadership positions, including president of the Iowa Soybean Association in 2006-07.
During his years of leadership, Gaesser helped create and increase demand for biodiesel, and strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). He also supported increased trade and market opportunities for soybean farmers.
“Ray’s dedication to the industry, here in Iowa and at the national level, is second to none,” wrote Heather Lilienthal, Iowa Soybean Association director of producer services, in her nomination letter. “He can talk policy, and push tough issues with any lawmaker, and also recall the first time he and his wife visited Iowa and knew it would become home. He knows how to be tough, but always does this with a genuine smile on his face and a respectful nature to his delivery.”
Gaesser is passionate about communicating the importance of adopting agriculture technologies and seed traits to help keep soybean farmers competitive in the global marketplace. He’s also committed to telling the story of conservation and sustainability in agriculture, and how it impacts everyone.
And through his leadership roles, Gaesser has served as a continuing example of communication and collaboration among the many organizations in the soybean family.