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Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance marks five years

SSGA highlights key achievements and industry impact, including successful programs and initiatives that enhance efficiency and sustainability.

2024 SSGA Officers: Bryan Severs, secretary/treasurer; Bob Sinner, chair; Bryan Stobaugh, vice chair
2024 SSGA Officers: Bryan Severs, secretary/treasurer; Bob Sinner, chair; Bryan Stobaugh, vice chair

The Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA), celebrating its five-year anniversary, has been at the forefront of the specialty soya and grains industry since its formation in 2019. The alliance, which emerged from the merger of the Midwest Shippers Association and Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), commemorated its achievements during its annual meeting on March 12.

The event featured agronomy presentations by experts Dr. Bryan Young of Purdue University, Dr. Andrew Scaboo of the University of Missouri, and Dr. Emily Bick from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on innovations in pest management. Ohio farmer Chad Warner also shared insights on the challenges and benefits of growing identity-preserved crops.

A highlight of the meeting was a panel featuring SSGA Chair Bob Sinner, alongside past chairs Curt Petrich and Rob Prather, who discussed the organization's history and milestones. The panel recounted the initial skepticism around the now-successful USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) High Quality Specialty Grains (HQSG) program. This initiative, launched in April 2023, has since facilitated nearly 1,700 phytosanitary certificates for U.S. exporters, demonstrating SSGA’s impact on the industry.

Petrich highlighted the tangible return on investment from SSGA activities, noting significant efficiencies and cost reductions in processing plants. The organization has also been instrumental in implementing the U.S. Identity Preserved assurance protocol and brandmark, establishing SSGA University, and advocating on container shipping issues.

The annual Alliance Honors were presented, recognizing significant contributions to the U.S. identity-preserved industry. Honors were awarded to the Illinois Soybean Association for Stewardship, the Indiana Crop Improvement Association for Advancing IP, Dr. Karl Kolb for Advancing SSGA, and Pamela Ryan of Stonebridge, Ltd., for Advancing Transportation.

Elections were held for two open seats on the SSGA board. Gail Donkers was reelected, and Bryan Severs joined the board. Severs was elected as the SSGA secretary/treasurer, Bryan Stobaugh as vice chair, and Bob Sinner was re-elected as chair.

Sinner expressed his honor in continuing as the SSGA chair, looking forward to further achievements in 2024. The SSGA’s five-year milestone underscores its significant role in advancing the specialty soya and grains sector, with an emphasis on efficiency, sustainability, and innovation.

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