Kansas Soybean Expo will be 'Fueling Innovations'
Soybean farmers will gather Jan. 9, 2013, in Topeka for the Kansas Soybean Expo, themed "Kansas Soybeans: Fueling Innovations." The Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas Soybean Association co-sponsor the annual event, which they conduct in conjunction with the Topeka Farm Show. It is at the Capital Plaza Hotel's Maner Conference Center at the Kansas Expocentre. Registration and exhibits open at 8:30 a.m., with the program scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. A reception will follow from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The opening session will feature a "Soybean Update" moderated by Gary Kilgore, a Kansas State University professor emeritus of agronomy. The panelists will be Bill Schapaugh, Ph.D., K-State professor of soybean breeding; Chuck Rice, Ph.D., K-State distinguished professor of soil microbiology; and Doug Shoup, Ph.D., K-State southeast area agronomist.
Next, representatives from the American Soybean Association, National Oilseed Processors Association and CommonGround Kansas will provide updates.
Following the morning break, Brent Hajek, an Oklahoma soybean farmer and land-speed-record holder, will present the keynote address.
Hajek lives in a small town of 150 people. He is a farmer, "certified wild man" and race car fanatic. He drives a totally worn-out 15-year-old pickup but spends money on his racing program. His goals are to develop new cars that pay tribute to the original cars in his museum and their drivers and to break their records using today's technology, biodiesel and other biofuels, and soy body panels and paint. Many scoffed at the idea that someone from Ames, Okla., could build record-breaking cars and get the top drivers to pilot them. He quickly proved them wrong.
Hajek also farms soy, wheat and corn in north-central Oklahoma and owns a trucking company. While most farmers harvest their crops with one or two combines over two weeks, he uses eight combines and a fleet of tractor-trailers to harvest his crops in one or two days. It is such a spectacle that Budweiser made a poster of it.
During the luncheon, KSA and KSC will present awards and recognitions, including the DuPont Young Leader, the Kansas Soybean Yield and Quality Contests winners, and meritorious service awards. Sen. Pat Roberts will receive the Friend of Soy award and is the invited luncheon speaker.
KSA President Charles Atkinson, Great Bend, then will preside over the association's annual meeting, which will include the approval of policy resolutions and the board of directors elections.
The afternoon session will focus on planning for the future when Wichita-based meteorologist Mike Smith, senior vice president and chief innovation executive at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, will address the audience.
A complete, detailed program and the registration form will be available at www.KansasSoybeans.org on the Web or by calling 877-KS-SOYBEAN (877-577-6923) after Nov. 20. The registration fees are $15 for KSA members ($20 with a spouse) and $20 for other guests, with a $5 discount for anyone who registers by Jan. 2, 2013.
The Kansas Soybean Commission, headquartered in Topeka, includes nine volunteer farmer-commissioners who oversee investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all Kansas soybean farmers. KSC invests checkoff funds in research, consumer information, market development, industry relations and farmer outreach to improve the profitability of all Kansas soybean farmers.
The Kansas Soybean Association, also headquartered in Topeka, is the voice and advocate for soybean farmers on local, state, national and international issues of importance. Founded in 1973, its advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary memberships of nearly 500 farmers. It also is the primary contractor to the Kansas Soybean Commission.