The South Dakota Soybean Association signed ASA’s new affiliate agreement during the July board meeting. Front row: ASA President Richard Wilkins and South Dakota Soybean Association President Jerry Schmitz. Back row: ASA Director Kevin Scott; Executive Director of the South Dakota Soybean Association Jeremy Freking; and ASA Director Dave Poppens. Photo courtesy of South Dakota Soybean AssociationTo-date, about one-third of the 26 state soybean associations have signed a new a five-year affiliation agreement with the American Soybean Association (ASA) that goes into effect Oct. 1, 2016. The new affiliation agreement, resulting from a new ASA strategic plan, reflects various changes in membership structure and affiliate investment in ASA. Several states signed the agreement while attending the ASA Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, including South Dakota and Illinois. Other states will be signing the agreement as summer meetings for the associations continue.ASA’s new strategic plan is focused on enhancing the protection and advancement of soybean farmer issues in the national policy and regulatory arenas. The new direction provides the state associations with total flexibility to structure membership types and dues amounts however will make that state affiliate most successful. The structure of affiliate investment provides new opportunities for states to invest in ASA to make both state and national organizations stronger and more effective on behalf of soybean farmers.ASA staff will continue to work with state staff over the next few months to get signed copies of the new affiliation agreement from all 26 state soybean associations.