Participants from northern states participated in the 2011 Regional Exchange and Awareness Program (REAP) southern tour, hosted by the Tennessee Soybean Association (TSA) July 20-24.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and the United Soybean Board (USB) partnered to sponsor this program. Bayer CropScience and Novus were also sponsors.

The REAP tour is a unique and educational opportunity for ASA members to learn about the regional differences and similarities in agriculture, share ideas between growers and industry, and help soybean producers build strong relationships that will help them down the road.

Participants in this year’s program toured Mud Island River Park; attended a field day at Agricenter International; visited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Station, and the headquarters of Ducks Unlimited; learned about cotton classification at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cotton Division; heard an informative presentation from Informa Economics about the outlook of transportation methods; and observed soybean plots and discussed weed resistance at West Tennessee Research & Education Center.

The participants also toured the Reelfoot Lake Area; Graceland; National Ornamental Iron Museum; President’s Island Memphis River Port; and Union Pacific Intermodal Railyard in Marion, Ark.

In addition, the tour included visits to the farms of ASA past-President Johnny Dodson and TSA farmer-leader David Nichols.

Participants in the REAP tour were Ken Boswell (Neb.); Fayte Brewer (Ind.); Harry Buck (S.D.); Bret Davis (Ohio); Brian McKenzie (Mich.); David Niekamp (Ill.); Craig Olson (N.D.); Bill Schapaugh (Kan.); Bruce Schmoll (Minn.); Rolland Schnell (Iowa); Steven Stetzer (Wisc.) and Bob Metz (S.D.).

Also in attendance were TSA Executive Director Parks Wells and staff Julie McKelvey and Marsha Dabney; Jennifer Anthony (USB staff), Alan Hopkins (Bayer CropScience) and ASA Meeting Planner Abby Podkul.

Dodson, Nichols, ASA Board member Eric Maupin, and TSA farmer-leader Todd Allen joined the group for several stops along the tour.

Ford Baldwin, a prominent weed researcher, also spent some time with the group.