ASA returns to Indiana roots to celebrate a century of advocating for soybean growers

The American Soybean Association (ASA), led President and Minnesota farmer Bill Gordon, will celebrate a century of soybean advocacy in August with a return to the site where it all began.

ASA was formed when brothers Taylor, Noah and Finis Fouts hosted the first Corn Belt Soybean Field Day at their Soyland Farms operation in Camden, Ind., on Sept. 3, 1920. The event drew nearly 1,000 farmers and their families from six states, who were interested in discovering more about this emerging new commodity called soybeans. The National Soybean Growers’ Association — later renamed the American Soybean Association — was formed that very day.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., ASA, with special support from the Indiana Soybean Alliance, will host a 100th anniversary celebration and historical marker dedication at its birthplace on Fouts Soyland Farm in Camden.

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with self-guided tours, including heirloom soybean plots and historic Fouts family machinery. Attendees can also see ASA history displays and pick up a complimentary copy of the commemorative history book, American Soybean Association: Our First Soy Century 1920–2020.

ASA Director and 100th Anniversary Host Kendell Culp (Ind.) will open the historical marker ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by a welcome from Elisha Modisett Kemp of the Fouts family. Gordon and Past President Alan Kemper (Ind.) will provide remarks before Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb unveils the historical marker. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association will also have directors on-hand to participate in the celebration.

After lunch, a special anniversary program hosted at noon by Master of Ceremonies Max Armstrong will feature a lineup of notable speakers including:

  • Ray Gaesser (IA), ASA Past President and 100th Anniversary Host
  • David Rodibaugh, Chair, Indiana Soybean Alliance
  • Karen Plaut, Dean, College of Agriculture, Purdue University
  • Keynote Speaker: Steve Censky, Deputy Secretary, USDA

Attendees will also have the opportunity to see a video history of Fouts Family and Soyland Farm, in addition to a special musical performance of Growing Soybeans to Get Along, a song written by Taylor Fouts and sung at the first soybean event in 1920.

The event is free of charge; however, attendance is capped at 180, so those interested must register. Click here for registration and hotel information. For those who cannot make it in person, the event will also be livestreamed. View the full event schedule here.

For more information on the 100th anniversary of the American Soybean Association, visit ASA100Years.com.

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