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Iowa Soybean Research Center

in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

Happy Retirement to ISA’s Ed Anderson

Ed Anderson, ISA
Ed Anderson, senior director of research for ISA, speaks during the fall ISRC Industry Advisory Council meeting.

The ISRC would like to wish Dr. Ed Anderson, senior director of research for the Iowa Soybean Association, a very happy and well-deserved retirement. We will miss his leadership, friendship and vast knowledge in the soybean realm. Anderson was instrumental in the establishment of the Iowa Soybean Research Center and has served as chair of the center’s Industry Advisory Council and as a member of the ISRC’s management team since center’s inception in 2014.

Greg Tylka, director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center and professor of plant pathology, entomology and microbiology at Iowa State said, “It’s been my great pleasure to work with Ed since the very early days of the Iowa Soybean Research Center. He helped shape how the center is structured and how it functions to leverage soybean farmer checkoff funds with financial support from industry to maximize return on investment for Iowa farmers. Also, ISU owes a debt of gratitude to Ed for his work fostering ISA support of ISU scientists conducting basic and applied research on topics of importance to Iowa soybean farmers. Ed’s university and industry research experiences made him eminently qualified to facilitate and nurture discussions among ISA farmer board members about university research proposals and progress reports submitted to ISA.” 

Anderson has been responsible for overseeing and integrating the ISA’s contract research programs and managing the ISA’s Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI) since 2013. He has also served, and will continue to serve, as executive director of the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), a 13-state collaboration for checkoff-funded regional research and outreach programs aimed at improving Midwest soybean farmer productivity, profitability and sustainability. Anyone who knows Anderson knows he has always emphasized and valued the importance of relationships and opportunities for collaboration with his peers at land grant universities, the United Soybean Board and a variety of soybean and agricultural industry groups to leverage resources to enhance the competitiveness of soybean farmers.

Having grown up on a row crop and livestock farm near Woolstock, IA, Anderson graduated with a degree in agricultural biochemistry from Iowa State University in 1984. He went on to work for Monsanto as a

research technician at Washington University in St. Louis and in 1991 he earned his Ph.D. in molecular plant virology and plant pathology at the University of Missouri. He then joined the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Florida as a postdoctoral research scientist, where he gained experience in international agriculture through collaborations with USDA-ARS and several researchers in Latin America working on citrus viruses. In 1992, Anderson joined the University of Arkansas as an assistant professor in plant pathology and established a teaching program and two complementary research programs. The programs focused on studying the molecular mechanisms of plant and virus interactions and the transformation and regeneration of novel plant species for transgenic plant research.

In 1997, he returned to Iowa to build and lead the Laboratory Automation, Engineering and Informatics group at Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Johnston. In 2011, he joined DuPont Pioneer’s Trait Strategy Group to help develop disease-resistant product strategies for all crops in all geographies. In 2013, Anderson joined the ISA to serve as senior director of research overseeing the RCFI research team and in an oversight role of soybean-checkoff-funded research at Iowa State University.

In retirement, Anderson will continue duties with the NCSRP and serving in a contract position as a research assistant with the Kansas Soybean Commission overseeing the investment process and managing research projects funded by that organization.

We are sure additional retirement plans will include spending more time with his grandchildren and catching a few St. Louis Cardinals games as well. Congratulations Ed!