ASA names Wilkins new president of organization

ST. LOUIS (Dec. 22, 2015) — Richard Wilkins, a farmer from Greenwood, Del., assumed the role of president of the American Soybean Association following his confirmation on Dec. 10 by the ASA Board of Directors at their annual winter meeting.
Outgoing president Wade Cowan from Brownfield, Texas, moves to the position of chairman of the ASA board and Ron Moore of Roseville, Ill., was elected to serve as vice president.
“I’m honored to serve as president of this wonderful team of farmers, and I’m excited to move forward with what is a very full agenda for the year,” said Wilkins.
“Richard is a smart leader who has a great purchase on how our industry can engage with our partners in other walks of agriculture to make sure we’re all successful,” said ASA CEO Steve Censky.
With his election as vice president, Moore is now in line to be the association’s president in 2016.
Wilkins held ASA leadership roles as treasurer and vice president before his election as president. He has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association since 2002, and served his state association as president from 2005-10) and membership chairman from 2003-04.
Wilkins farms 400 acres of soybeans annually. In addition, he produces 400 acres of corn, 250 acres of wheat, 100 acres of barley, 200 acres of vegetables, 250 acres of hay and raises 150 head of beef cattle. He is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Soybean Advisory Committee.
Wilkins earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Delaware.
Also elected to form ASA’s nine-member governing committee were Secretary John Heisdorffer from Keota, Iowa; and At-Large Governing Board Members Bret Davis of Delaware, Ohio, Kevin Hoyer of West Salem, Wisc., Kevin Scott of Valley Springs, S.D., and Sam Butler of New Hope, Ala.. Current Treasurer Davie Stephens of Wingo, Ky., was elected to serve a second term in the same position.
Rotating off the ASA governing committee is outgoing chairman Ray Gaesser of Corning, Iowa, who will remain on the ASA board for the remainder of his term as director.
“Helping to guide this organization has been a real joy for me, and I am proud of how far we’ve come,” said Gaesser, during whose presidency ASA successfully advocated the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
“Ray deserves a great deal of credit for the strong advocacy ASA has provided for soybean farmers over the last three years, and we’re a better organization for it,” said Wilkins.
ASA’s meeting also served as a venue to celebrate the retirements of former president Steve Wellman of Nebraska, former treasurer Bob Henry of Kansas, and directors Dennis Bogaards of Iowa, John Rivers of South Carolina and Walter Godwin of Georgia.
Assuming positions on the Board as new members at the meeting are Charles Atkinson of Kansas, Cliff Barron of South Carolina, Ken Boswell of Nebraska, and Dean Coleman of Iowa. The meeting also represents the first ASA meeting for directors Pam Snelson of Oklahoma, and Steve Yoder, Jr., of Florida.