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Iowa Soybean Research Center

in collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association

Ed Anderson Recipient of 2024 Tom Oswald Legacy Award

Provided by the United Soybean Board

Ed Anderson received the Tom Oswald Legacy Award.
USB Chair Steve Reinhard presents the Tom Oswald Legacy Award to Ed Anderson at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas. 

The United Soybean Board presented Ed Anderson with the Tom Oswald Legacy Award at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas.

“In my career, conducting and promoting research to advance soybean yields, protect soybeans from diseases, insects, weeds, and abiotic stressors, improve sustainable soybean production and enhance soybean components for human and animal nutrition has been rewarding,” shared Ed Anderson, executive director of the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) and former senior director of research at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). “This award means the world to me because Tom Oswald and I were more than just colleagues. Tom was my friend. Tom was intelligent, insightful and provocative. Tom challenged us to think bigger and bolder to further the productivity and sustainability of our U.S. soybean crop. Most importantly, Tom made me and everyone around him “better-er” and I miss him.” 

Anderson has dedicated his efforts to promoting soybean research, specifically in yield protection and yield preservation through disease resistance and disease management. For the past decade, he has served on the ISA, NCSRP and as a research consultant for the Kansas Soybean Commission, providing leadership to several state farmer boards in prioritizing soybean checkoff-funded research projects at more than 13 major land-grant universities. He leads multi-disciplinary programs to enhance farmers’ efforts through soybean genetic and agronomic production and yield improvement, yield protection, improved quality and sustainability. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and his PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed postdoctoral research at the University of Florida. 

"Ed is a highly respected leader whose dedication toward the progress of soybean research earned him widespread respect among plant scientists,” said Steve Reinhard, USB chair and Ohio farmer who worked directly with Ed on the NCSRP. “He represents the ideals of Tom's legacy, and we appreciate his unrelenting efforts to create a better soybean that ultimately drives value back to the farm."

Some of Anderson’s colleagues shared sentiments about why they nominated him:

Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said, “Ed excels at bringing soybean farmers and researchers together – listening to their ideas while bringing his knowledge and expertise to the discussion. These conversations result in research projects on the cutting edge, providing farmers with a greater return on investment.” 

NCSRP President Suzanne Shirbroun said, “Ed is a humble leader. He is masterful in bringing people together to advance the soybean industry. It’s an honor to serve on a board where I have witnessed his passion to drive soybean research forward and dream about how the advancements would be deployed on my farm.” 

Iowa Soybean Research Center Co-director Greg Tylka said, “He is universally respected by university plant scientists and administrators, by industry and governmental plant scientists and by scores of elected farmer directors and staff in soybean checkoff organizations. It is hard to imagine anyone having a more thorough background, more pertinent experiences and perspective and higher credibility to be a leader in soybean research than Ed Anderson.” 

Anderson was instrumental in the establishment of the Iowa Soybean Research Center. Until his retirement from the Iowa Soybean Association in 2023, Anderson had served as chair of the center’s Industry Advisory Council and as a member of the ISRC’s management team since the center's inception in 2014. 

The USB established the annual Tom Oswald Legacy Award in memory of the late Tom Oswald, a Cleghorn, Iowa, farmer who served as ISA president and as a USB director for several years. The award is given to an individual, organization or group that has made a significant contribution to the soybean industry and soy checkoff. Oswald was a farmer-leader for eight years and a member of USB’s Executive Committee for three years, and he always asked, "How do we make it better-er?" He wanted to know what additional efforts could be taken to exceed expectations and achieve best outcomes.