The World Food Prize Foundation

2019 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Mr. Kirk Leeds

CEO, Iowa Soybean Association

Kirk Leeds joined the staff of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) in 1989. Originally hired to serve as a field representative, Kirk moved into new positions with ISA and became their CEO in 1992.  Since then, he has helped ISA implement the national checkoff program and has overseen the expansion of ISA’s program into major new areas including on farm research and environmental programs. Kirk helped facilitate the consolidation of the checkoff and association boards into one unified organization.

During his tenure as CEO for ISA, he has played a key role in several national and regional initiatives including the formation of the North Central Soybean Research Program, the Soybean Research and Development Council, the Soy Foods Council, Soy Leadership Forum and the Global Soybean Forum. He also helped lead efforts to establish the Soy Transportation Coalition in order to enhance the ability of the U.S. soybean industry to address transportation issues and assisted in efforts to form the Iowa Biodiesel Board to increase the visibility and viability of the industry in Iowa.

Kirk served as the founding President of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers.  In 2014, he played a leading role in the formation of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, an organization formed to assist state-wide efforts to improve the management of nutrients in Iowa in order to improve water quality in the state.  Kirk was elected the organization’s first Chairman.

Kirk obtained his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University where he graduated with Distinction with a major in Political Science.  He and his wife Kim, reside in Boone and are proud parents of four grown children.

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