Soybean growers present Gordley lifetime achievement award
NEW ORLEANS — At its annual banquet during the Commodity Classic here on Friday, the American Soybean Association presented John Gordley, its longtime Washington representative, with the ASA Pinnacle Award, its top honor for a lifetime of work for soybeans.
Gordley and his firm Gordley Associates represented the soybean industry for 28 years, from 1992 through 2020. ASA noted that Gordley and his team “provided critical assistance in the fight to make soybeans competitive with other crops under the farm bill.”
“He developed plans for legislative acceptance of biodiesel as a renewable energy source, resulting in the biodiesel tax credit, and directed legislative efforts to recognize the health benefits of soy foods by the Food and Drug Administration for inclusion in government programs. He also supported ASA efforts to expand the market for biotechnology and plant breeding innovations, in addition to enhancing foreign markets through trade policy and export promotion programs.”
In an acceptance speech, Gordley noted that he did not grow up on a farm but that his wife Susie, whom he met at Grinnell College in Iowa, was from Nickerson, Kan. He got involved in agriculture because his mother-in-law hoped that if he got a job in agriculture the couple would return to Kansas.
Instead, after working in market development for what is now U.S. Wheat Associates, Gordley became the agriculture legislative assistant for then-Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., for five years. During that time, Dole told him to “keep the farmers happy,” but when he introduced Gordley to farmers he boosted Gordley’s credentials by noting that his wife was from Nickerson.
Gordley also served as special assistant for policy development in the Reagan White House, and founded his firm in 1987.
Gordley said it has been a pleasure to work with the soybean farmers and noted that soybean acreage increased dramatically during the years they worked together. Many former ASA leaders attended the banquet along with the current leadership and members.
ASA now has its own Washington office, but Gordley Associates remains in business, representing other crops.
The Gordleys now live in New Orleans.
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