United We Stand: CEOs Share Perspective on a Changing Landscape

Jan 25, 3:15 — 4:30 PM EST

Soybean farmers continue to weather challenges from every corner:  Supply chain issues, global conflict, inflation and climate change, to name a few. Yet the farm economy remains well-positioned – helped by diverse market demand thanks in part to clean fuels like biodiesel. We’ll “crystal ball” with the CEOs of primary soybean states in this round table discussion, covering crush capacity, policies including the Farm Bill, and the importance of us working as a united front. Then we’ll hear from national experts, including some from the DOE Clean Cities program, on the future of reducing petroleum, as well as the growing Environmental Justice movement.

Speakers:

Tom Verry

Director of Outreach and Development
Clean Fuels Alliance America

Tom Verry serves as the Director of Outreach and Development for Clean Fuels Alliance America and the Executive Director of the Foundation. Verry works to establish synergistic relationships for the benefit of the biodiesel industry with key stakeholders including feed stock suppliers, state soybean associations, fuel suppliers, end-users, policy makers, government agencies, and environmental/ health groups. He also works to identify and access resources that will address the needs of the organization and the industry. Previously, Verry spent 12 years as the Director of Field Services for the Missouri Soybean Association. Verry is a 1987 graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics

Steve Censky

CEO
American Soybean Association

Stephen Censky is CEO of the American Soybean Association, a role with which he is very familiar. He returned to ASA in November 2020 after serving as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from October 2017 to November 2020. Before his appointment to USDA, he served as ASA CEO for 21 years. Censky began his career working as a legislative assistant for Sen. Jim Abdnor (R-SD). Later, he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations at USDA.

Kirk Leads

CEO
Iowa Soybean Association

Kirk Leeds is CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association, responsible for overall management and director-level staff. He works with the board leadership to improve the operations of the board and its governance system, as well as being responsible for relationship with national organizations. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 14,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders. Leeds also serves as Director for the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers and President of ISA Management Solutions.

Stephanie Sinner

Executive Director
North Dakota Soybean Council

Stephanie Sinner is the executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Council. Sinner has a Master of Science in International Studies, with an emphasis in International Agriculture Trade and Development, from Oklahoma State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and an Associate of Arts in Agriculture from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Prior to joining the Soybean Council, Sinner worked for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. She has more than 17 years of market-development experience promoting North Dakota agriculture both domestically and internationally.

Moderator:

Kaleb Little

CEO
Kansas Soybean Association

Kaleb Little joined Kansas Soybean in January 2021 as the CEO of the Kansas Soybean Association and Administrator of the Kansas Soybean Commission. In that role, under the direction of soybean farmer boards of directors, he manages and implements production and utilization research, domestic and international market development and education projects for the Commission and federal and state lobbying programs for the Association. Little previously worked at the National Biodiesel Board (now Clean Fuels Alliance America) as the communications director. NBB was his first career stop following graduation from Kansas State University in 2009, where he received an agricultural communications and journalism degree and a leadership studies minor.