Soy growers honor Heitkamp as a Soy Champion

Farm Forum

WASHINGTON — In a presentation before its board of directors, the American Soybean Association (ASA) presented Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) with the Soy Champion Award in Washington on July 14. In recognition of outstanding public advocacy for soybean farmers, the Soy Champion Award honors Heitkamp for her considerable work on biodiesel, farm programs, trade and transportation as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“Senator Heitkamp has proven herself to be a strong voice for North Dakota soybean farmers,” said Ed Erickson, Jr., a soybean farmer and ASA Director from Milnor, N.D. “She has relentlessly and consistently reached across the aisle to fight for the priorities of soybean farmers, both in North Dakota and across the country.”

ASA presented Sen. Heitkamp with the award during the association’s annual July board meeting and Legislative Forum, in which the ASA directors and representatives from 30 soybean-growing states gather in Washington to meet with lawmakers and raise the profile of public policy issues impacting soybean farmers.

“Growing up in a small town in rural North Dakota, I understand the importance of farms to supporting our way of life. And throughout my career in public service, including in the U.S. Senate, I’ve been an advocate for rural America,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “I greatly appreciate this award which reinforces that the work we do in Congress has serious impacts on farmers and our communities. We need strong policies that give soybean farmers and all farmers the certainty to do their jobs, help biodiesel production grow, and enable farmers to export their products around the world. Working together in a bipartisan way, we can accomplish these goals to support our farms, families, and our country.”

“Senator Heitkamp is a great example of why this week in Washington is such an important one for soybean farmers,” added Erickson. “She grew up in a rural community and throughout her career she has sought farmer insight and input through meetings like the ones we’re having here with week to make sure she represents North Dakotans in the best way possible. Senator Heitkamp quickly made her voice known on the Senate Committee on Agriculture as she helped craft a bipartisan Farm Bill. And she has remained a staunch advocate for our farmers through her work pushing for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard and her efforts to change the Waters of the U.S. rule. Those efforts make a difference for our farmers and families throughout the U.S., and with this award we aim to show our support and gratitude for her work.”

Sen. Heitkamp sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, on which she helped write, negotiate and pass the 2014 Farm Bill. She has been a leader in pressing the EPA to set strong Renewable Volume Obligations for biodiesel and ethanol to get the Renewable Fuel Standard back on track after years of delays and put people back to work. She has stood up for North Dakota’s farmers by helping introduce bipartisan legislation to provide certainty for farmers, ranchers, and small businesses by requiring the EPA to redo its proposed Waters of the U.S. rule., and Sen. Heitkamp introduced a bipartisan bill to help support and improve the export of American agricultural commodities to Cuba.