Kenneth Bader — the architect of the soy checkoff, and thus the creation of the United Soybean Board — is the recipient of a new USB award that honors an individual’s commitment and steadfast efforts to advance the soybean industry.
The inaugural Tom Oswald Legacy Award, whose namesake (also known as “No-Till Tom”) served eight years as a farmer-leader and three years on the United Soybean Board Executive Committee, is bestowed on an individual, organization or group that has left a lasting mark on the soybean industry and the soy checkoff. It’s clear that Bader fits these requirements perfectly. The honor was bestowed during the 2023 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.
Bader promoted agriculture through many roles during his career, though he is most well-known for his 16 years as CEO of the American Soybean Association. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University, and he served as a professor and dean of students at The Ohio State University and vice chancellor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award and am grateful to the farmer volunteers, staff and partners who continue to work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers,” Bader said. “I have immense respect for Tom Oswald, who dedicated his career to agriculture and was a strong advocate for our industry. Looking back on 30 years since the inception of the soy checkoff, biodiesel, sustainability, and exports serve as bright spots for checkoff investments.”
Dave Drennan, former American Soybean Association regional manager, was one of several individuals who nominated Bader for the award.
“Without Dr. Bader’s leadership, there would not be a national soy checkoff,” Drennan said. “Ken knew the demands and opportunities in this industry, and that reaching them would require a bold move that involved all U.S. soybean farmers.”