South Dakota Farmer, David Iverson Reelected as Chairman of WISHH

September 2, 2012

SD Farmer, David Iverson was reelected as Chairman of the WISHH organization. WISHH is a program that works to find new opportunities for U.S. soy by meeting nutritional needs in developing countries.

The World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), a program of the American Soybean Association (ASA), brings the benefits of U.S. soy protein to developing countries where it can make a difference in lives today and in the future.

David Iverson, a soybean farmer from Astoria, S.D., serves as the Chairman of the WISHH board, and was recently reelected as Chairman for the 2012-2013 term. Iverson also serves as the Chairman for the South Dakota soybean checkoff organization.

“Growing populations and and increasing incomes are driving demand for U.S. soy protein in developing countries,” said Chairman Iverson. “We look forward to working with the many developing country entrepreneurs and organizations that are eager to use U.S. soy to improve the diets as well as economic opportunities in these countries.”

Over 800 million people worldwide, including 200 million children are undernourished. Soy is well suited to provide the protein, calories and other nutritional needs of such people. Since its creation, WISHH has been enhancing the protein intake of many nations through market development, humanitarian assistance, education and research. WISHH also understands that developing nations of today are tomorrow’s customers for U.S. soy. All of the top 10 export countries for U.S. soy is a current or former recipient of U.S. foreign aid assistance.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) science white paper released on July 24, 2012 highlights the importance of developing countries. It leads with, “The future success of U.S. agriculture is tied to economic growth in the developing world. These countries play a vital role in expanding feed and food export markets…”

The USDA paper also cites the world population is estimated at 7 billion as of May 2012 and will increase to more than 9 billion by 2050. Currently, nearly one billion people globally are estimated to be food insecure, with 44 percent residing in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to USDA Economist Shahla Shapouri.

American Soybean Association (ASA) President Steve Wellman confirmed 16 soybean growers from nine states to ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Committee in 2012-2013. WISHH Committee Members reelected David Iverson of South Dakota as chair and Andy Welden of Michigan as vice chair. Illinois grower Dan Farney is the new treasurer. Lucas Heinen of Kansas now serves as secretary.

New WISHH Committee Members for 2012-2013 are: Gary Berg (IL); Ron Bunjer (MN); Ryan Cahoon (NC); Dean Coleman (IA); Levi Huffman (IN); Mike Marron (IL); Joe Murphy (IL), and Art Wosick (ND). Returning to the Committee are Scott Fritz (IN); Monica McCranie (SD); Darrel McGriff (IN), and Randy Van Kooten (IA). United Soybean Board Director Mary Lou Smith (MI), and Drew Klein, representing the U.S. Soybean Export Council, serve as ex-officio members of the Committee.

Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, WISHH has worked in 23 countries to improve diets, as well as encourage growth of food industries. The WISHH program is managed from ASA’s world headquarters in Saint Louis. For more information, visit