SC Farmer Graduates ASA

The American Soybean Association is calling for applications to their Young Leadership Program, recruiting soybean farmers from the 26 soybean producing states, along with their spouses. John Rivers, with Rivers Farms, in Sumter County, South Carolina participated in the program two years ago:

“I know people at ASA and was encouraged to apply. I know people who have gone thought the program and I was very interested. My wife and I filled out the application and we were accepted. We went to Des Moines Iowa in December and then the Commodity Classic in March. The third part of the program was the ASA Board of Directors July meeting in Washington.”

Rivers explains that his interest in the program was to learn the behind-the-scenes aspect of farming:

“I hoped to gain a better understanding of the policy and legislative part of farming. Its a lot more than just putting crops in the ground, all of the lobbying in DC and the help of the associations.”

Having an interest in being on the South Carolina Corn & Soybean Association board was part of Rivers’ motivation in applying for the Leadership program:

“I was interested in being on the state board, which I am on now. I have just become the ASA rep for South Carolina.”

Meeting soybean farmers from other parts of the country, says Rivers, was one of the most exciting parts of the program:

“Meeting other farmers was the most important part of the program. Getting to meet others who do the same thing is exciting and to see how everyone runs their operation is great learning. Through them you gain a greater understanding of what ASA does.”

While being a bit wary of having spouses involved, Rivers says his wife’s experience changed his mind about that aspect of the program:

“Getting your spouse involved is a very important part of the program. My wife didn’t know a lot about farming until she went to this program with me. After spending time in Des Moines, she left with a new excitement for the agricultural industry.”

To learn more about ASA’s Young Leadership Program, go to for more info

John Rivers, Sumter County soybean farmer and South Carolina Corn & Soybean Association board member on Today’s Topic is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.