USA – The Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) marked a significant milestone as it celebrated its fifth anniversary during its annual meeting on March 12. 

Since its inception in 2019 through the merger of the Midwest Shippers Association and Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA), SSGA has been a driving force in the specialty soya and grains industry, spearheading initiatives to enhance efficiency and sustainability.

The event, attended by industry leaders and experts, featured agronomy presentations by esteemed professionals including Dr. Bryan Young of Purdue University, Dr. Andrew Scaboo of the University of Missouri, and Dr. Emily Bick from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Discussions centered on innovations in pest management, providing attendees with valuable insights into cutting-edge agricultural practices.

A highlight of the meeting was a panel discussion featuring SSGA Chair Bob Sinner, alongside past chairs Curt Petrich and Rob Prather, reflecting on the organization’s journey and pivotal milestones. 

Notably, the panel highlighted the remarkable success of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) High-Quality Specialty Grains (HQSG) program, which has facilitated nearly 1,700 phytosanitary certificates for U.S. exporters since its launch in April 2023, underscoring SSGA’s profound impact on the industry.

Petrich emphasized the tangible benefits derived from SSGA initiatives, citing notable efficiencies and cost reductions in processing plants. The organization’s instrumental role in implementing the U.S. 

Identity Preserved assurance protocol and brandmark, establishing SSGA University, and advocating on container shipping issues further solidified its position as a catalyst for positive change within the industry.

During the annual meeting, the prestigious Alliance Honors were presented, recognizing organizations and individuals for their significant contributions to the U.S. identity-preserved industry. 

The Illinois Soybean Association received recognition for Stewardship, while the Indiana Crop Improvement Association was honored for Advancing IP. Dr. Karl Kolb was lauded for his efforts in Advancing SSGA, and Pamela Ryan of Stonebridge, Ltd., was commended for her contributions to Advancing Transportation.

Additionally, elections were held for vacant seats on the SSGA board, resulting in the reelection of Gail Donkers and the appointment of Bryan Severs. Severs was appointed as the SSGA secretary/treasurer, with Bryan Stobaugh assuming the role of vice chair. 

Bob Sinner was reelected as chair, expressing his commitment to advancing SSGA’s mission in the year ahead.

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