Two dedicated Illinois soybean farmer-leaders were honored March 2, during Commodity Classic in Nashville.
C.W. Gaffner, past Illinois Soybean Association director from Greenville received the American Soybean Association (ASA) Lifetime Achievement/Membership Focus Award. Philip Bradshaw, past United Soybean Board (USB) chairman from Griggsville received the ASA Meritorious Service Award. The ISA Board of Directors nominated both farmers for the awards.
"Illinois soybean farmers have traditionally stepped up to serve the industry on the national level, and C.W. Gaffner and Phil Bradshaw are both leaders that have done much on our behalf," says Matt Hughes, soybean farmer from Shirley and ISA chairman. "We are very proud of their accomplishments, and appreciate the example they set for others to follow in the future."
Gaffner is a long-time soybean and dairy producer, who has over the years welcomed many tours to his family's farm to help educate school-age children about agriculture. He served as a member of Bond County Community Unit #2 School Board for 15 years and served as a board member and president of the Bond County Farm Bureau. He is a member of the FFA Alumni Association and worked as an ag advisor to Congressman John Shimkus.
"It was quite a surprise to me to win the award and a humbling experience," says Gaffner. "I certainly am motivated to continue to work to build ISA membership. I encourage Illinois soybean farmers to become members to have a stronger voice on important soybean issues. The more people we have communicating with our legislators the better."
Bradshaw is not only a past chairman for USB, he also served as chair for the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) and the World Soy Foundation. He has been active with QUALISOY and the U.S. Soybean Export Council and was vice chairman for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. Bradshaw is a past chairman of the Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board, Illinois Pork Producers Association and the United States Animal Health Association. He holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture and business from Western Illinois University.
"Phil has the ability to encourage people to perform at their highest levels for the betterment of our industry," explains Moore. "Phil has been the right leader at the right time for all of agriculture."
"I am deeply honored and most appreciative to receive the award. Many other people are just as qualified and deserving as I am to be recognized," says Bradshaw.