Mendota farmer hones knowledge at ASA Young Leader Program
BLOOMINGTON – An Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) member and soybean farmer from Mendota recently participated in the American Soybean Association (ASA) Young Leader Program at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla.
“When it comes to professional development experiences, this program raises the bar through the leadership, communications and issues-based training they provide to participants,” said Sarah Tweet Landers, the 2023 Illinois ASA Young Leader Representative. “It was a transformational experience where we built a strong peer network and learned from each other while generating successful ideas to bring home to our businesses and communities.”
Tweet Landers farms with her father, Sherman Tweet and her husband, Jeff, raising soybeans, corn and beef cattle. Jeff and Sarah also have two children, Adelynn and Kaedyn.
“Farming with both my father and my husband’s family, where different farming practices are in place to accomplish the respective goals of each operation, I am constantly learning through research and technology as well as trial and error,” said Tweet Landers.
She added that their family farms continue to grow and prosper through teamwork and continuing education.
“My husband teaches agronomy and crop science technology at Joliet Junior College and brings home agronomic insights in pest management, yield data, soil management and more,” Tweet Landers said. “We can incorporate cost-saving insights into our decision-making regarding ordering seed and inputs for both operations while improving soil health and boosting yield. These insights have allowed us to purchase land and improve our farming practices.”
As a veteran agriculture educator and FFA Advisor of 14 years, Tweet Landers is passionate about future generations of agriculturists and the power of local leadership.
“We involve our two children in every aspect of our family farming operations so they can learn the ropes while taking pride and ownership in what we do,” Tweet Landers said. “The future of agriculture looks bright despite supply issues, high input costs and market fluctuations.”
In addition to farming full time, Tweet Landers works for the University of Illinois as an adjunct instructor supervising agriculture education student teachers, and she owns Tweet Floral Design, providing floral arrangements for weddings and special events.
She also serves on the Mendota School District #289 School Board and is a member of the Mendota FFA Alumni Association, the Mendota Business and Professional Women organization, and the Illinois Valley Pink Ribbon Club. She was recently honored as one of the recipients of ISA’s inaugural class of Illinois 20 under 40.
Illinois has participated in the ASA DuPont Young Leader Program since its inception in 1984. Applications for the 40th ASA Class will open this summer. Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, the ASA Young Leader Program is a two-part educational experience that provides learning-in-action for individuals and couples interested in agricultural leadership.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations.