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The United Soybean Board Selects Ed Anderson as the Recipient of the 2024 Tom Oswald Legacy Award

ST. LOUIS (March 4, 2023) – The United Soybean Board presented the Tom Oswald Legacy Award to Ed Anderson at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas. Anderson was recognized for his work in advancing soybean research and bringing soybean scientists together to work collaboratively on topics important to farmers. His efforts to create a more resilient and nutritious soybean have positively impacted research advancements across academia, industry, and commodity groups — all while keeping farmers’ best interests in mind.

“In my career, conducting and promoting research to advance soybean yields; protect soybeans from diseases, insects, weeds, and abiotic stressors; improve sustainable soybean production; and enhance soybean components for human and animal nutrition has been rewarding,” said Ed Anderson, PhD, executive director of the North Central Soybean Research Program and former senior director of research at Iowa Soybean Association. “This award means the world to me because Tom Oswald and I were more than just colleagues. Tom was my friend. Tom was intelligent, insightful and provocative. Tom challenged us to think bigger and bolder to further the productivity and sustainability of our U.S. soybean crop. Most importantly, Tom made me and everyone around him ‘better-er,’ and I miss him.”

Anderson has dedicated his efforts to promoting soybean research. For the past decade, he has served on the Iowa Soybean Association and North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) in addition to being a research consultant for the Kansas Soybean Commission, where he provides leadership to several state farmer boards in prioritizing soybean checkoff-funded research projects at more than 13 major land-grant universities. He leads multidisciplinary programs to enhance farmers’ efforts through soybean genetic and agronomic production and yield improvement, yield protection, improved quality, and sustainability. He received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, received his PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia and  completed postdoctoral research at the University of Florida.

“Ed is a highly respected leader whose dedication toward the progress of soybean research earned him widespread respect among plant scientists,” said Steve Reinhard, USB chair and Ohio farmer who worked directly with Anderson on the NCSRP. “He represents the ideals of Tom’s legacy, and we appreciate his unrelenting efforts to create a better soybean that ultimately drives value back to the farm.”

Some of Anderson’s colleagues shared sentiments about why they nominated him:

  • “Ed excels at bringing soybean farmers and researchers together — listening to their ideas while bringing his knowledge and expertise to the discussion. These conversations result in research projects on the cutting edge, providing farmers with a greater return on investment.” —Wendy Wintersteen, president of Iowa State University
  • “He is universally respected by university plant scientists and administrators, by industry and governmental plant scientists, and by scores of elected farmer directors and staff in soybean checkoff organizations. It is hard to imagine anyone having a more thorough background, more pertinent experiences and perspective, and higher credibility to be a leader in soybean research than Ed Anderson.” —Greg Tylka, director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center
  • “Ed is a humble leader. He is masterful in bringing people together to advance the soybean industry. It’s an honor to serve on a board where I have witnessed his passion to drive soybean research forward and dream about how the advancements would be deployed on my farm.” —Suzanne Shirbroun, North Central Soybean Research Program president

The United Soybean Board established the annual Tom Oswald Legacy Award in memory of the late Tom Oswald. This award is given to an individual, organization, or group that has made a significant contribution to the soybean industry and the soy checkoff. As a farmer-leader for eight years and a member of the United Soybean Executive Committee for three years, Oswald always asked the question, “How do we make it better-er?” He wanted to know what additional steps, thoughts, and efforts could be taken to exceed expectations and achieve the best possible outcomes.

To learn more about Oswald and the Tom Oswald Legacy Award, visit Remembering “No-Till Tom.”

About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 77 volunteer farmer-leaders work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers create value by investing in research, education, and promotion with the vision of delivering sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day, across the three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit unitedsoybean.org.

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