40 YEARS OF ‘THE FARMER’
A monthly supplement to The Delmarva Farmer
Davis watched checkoff system’s birth, evolution
Sandra Davis walked into a small office in downtown Salisbury, Md.
She recalls it had a desk, and a chair, “and a couple of other pieces of furniture.”
On the desk was a thick three-hole binder which, she was told, contained all she had to know, at the moment, about her job.
It was the training manual for new employees of the American Soybean Association
It was March 3, 1980, Sandy was beginning her job as a secretary-receptionist for what was then the regional office of the ASA,
Thirty five uninterrupted years later, Sandra “Sandy” Davis continues her work for the soybean industry now as executive director of the Maryland Soybean Board.
She had graduated from Salisbury State College in 1975 with a degress in elementary edcation, she taught for a couple of years and then managed the Butler Jones Air Freight Company before launching her career in the soybean industry.
Working under Jerry Kennedy, who was running the Salisbury office for the ASA, she came aboard just as the state of Maryland, urged on by the Mid-Arlantic Soybean Association of which Maryland was a part, was establishing a one-cent-per-bushel soybean checkoff to be administerd by the state’s first soybean board,
In 1990, another change in structure for the nation’s soybean industry:
Apparently impressed by the results of the various state soybean checkoff programs, Congress adopted legislation creating a national soybean checkoff, requiring farmers to invest 50 cents of every $100 they got for their beans at the first point of sale.
Davis’s office, which had been a regional office for the ASA and then an office for the Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association and the Maryland Soybean Board, then became a QSSB — a Qualified State Soybean Board — for Maryland’s participation in the national checkoff program,
Through those years, Davis advanced from secretary-receptionist to administrative assistant to, in 1995, executive director, of the Maryland Soybean Board.
Also along the way she has “loaned” her experience and talent to soybean boards and organizations in Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.
Davis, 67, married and the mother of three boys, has no intention ofgiving up any of this.
“I love my job, she said. The checkoff continues to bring in money and more money to fund some really exciting projects.
“And I love working with the farmers on the board. It can get really emotional (for me.) They are like family.”