The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program invited influencers along the supply chain to attend a harvest-themed dinner on Nov. 7 in Chicago.



Harvest-themed Dinner Introduces Chicago-area Influencers to Many Uses of Soybeans


CHICAGO – Nov. 7, 2017 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program invited influencers along the supply chain to attend a harvest-themed dinner on Nov. 7 in Chicago. The dinner is part of the ISA Soy in the City initiative, which shares with influencers the different ways soybeans positively impact daily life and introduces them to Illinois farmers. During the dinner, guests explored the many uses of soybeans, from vegetable oil and protein-packed livestock feed to paint and biodiesel.


Last year, Illinois farmers produced 593 million bushels of soybeans destined for livestock feed, food ingredients and other uses both locally and globally. As soybeans begin their farm-to-table journey at harvest, it’s an opportune time to introduce this crop – and the farmers growing it – to Chicago influencers.


Many sectors of the food industry converge in Chicago: Food manufacturers, processors, food service companies and commodity marketers all call The Windy City home. Dietitians, bloggers, economic developers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other influencers impact consumer environments – by role or by reach – on a daily basis. These influencers have the ability to affect purchasing behavior, so ISA and Illinois farmers need to engage with these audiences.


Sharon Covert, an ISA director and farmer from Tiskilwa, Illinois, attended the harvest-themed dinner and visited with guests about her farm and how soybeans are used in household products like candles and carpet.


“This type of event is great for connecting with urban influencers,” says Covert. “Not only do I get to share stories about my family farm and the many uses of soybeans right here in the city, but I also can learn more about others who, while not directly involved with agriculture, play a role in the broader industry. It’s great to learn about these connections and the different roles we fill.”


Guests visited restaurant action stations featuring sticky pork-fried rice, braised short rib tortellini and crispy tofu, and they finished the night with chocolate pecan pie. Restaurant partners included Girl & the Goat, GT Prime, GT Fish & Oyster and Boka Catering Group.


This event was the second of its kind, following an August farm-to-table dinner that specifically explored the local, sustainable use of soy-based ingredients. Illinois farmers and guests, including food bloggers, dietitians, and representatives from McDonald’s, Sodexo, Bimbo Bread, Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network, The Wetlands Initiative and The Nature Conservancy, engaged in meaningful conversations about Illinois agriculture and food while building relationships across various industry sectors.


From the food consumers eat to biodiesel fueling city buses, learn how ISA shares the positive story of soybeans with Chicagoans. Follow @ilsoybean or search #SoyintheCity on Instagram.


The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, issues analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C., through the Illinois Soybean Growers. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website




Photo Caption: Sharon Covert, a soybean farmer and Illinois Soybean Association director from Tiskilwa, Illinois, engages with guests about farm life and the role soybeans play in everyday household products. About 20 guests attended the Nov. 7 dinner at Morgan’s on Fulton in Chicago’s West Loop.



For more information, contact:
Amy Roady



Sarah Duwe