Collin Cooper of LaCenter has been chosen as Kentucky's American Soybean Association (ASA) Corteva Young Leader. This national program allows young soybean farmers from around the country to gather for a challenging leadership experience. The Young Leaders program offers the opportunity for participants to enhance their leadership skills as well as meet and learn from other young leaders.
The Young Leaders program is unique among the leadership opportunities that exist for soybean growers, as it is designed to include both husbands and wives, or - as in Collin's case - significant others. The couple will attend sessions together so that they both understand the importance of helping to shape national policy and advocate for agriculture, and both have the tools to do so. This program trains leaders with the expectation that they will, at some point, serve in a leadership capacity in the soybean family.
Cooper farms with his father and his uncle in Ballard County, raising soybeans and corn, in addition to operating the last dairy remaining in the Purchase area. He holds a degree in agribusiness from Western Kentucky University and his significant other, Allison Dallas, is a senior at Murray State University studying the same topic. Cooper said that he has goals for his family operation, Coopland Farms, that include being better stewards of the land, increasing return on investment, implementing more cover crops and eventually operating an agri-tourism and bottling company.
As part of his status as Kentucky's ASA Corteva Young Leader, Cooper will serve as an ex-officio member of the board of the Kentucky Soybean Association. His duties begin in November when he and Allison will travel to corporate headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, for part one of a two-part training session. Part two will take place in March during Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. Classic is the national annual meeting of the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Sorghum Producers.
For more information on soybean farming in Kentucky, visit www.kysoy.org.