In Birmingham, Alabama, this week, ASA staff including CEO Steve Censky and Executive Director Bill Schuermann joined nearly 100 executives and staff from state-level soybean promotion boards/checkoffs and soybean associations, as well as representatives from the United Soybean Board, U.S. Soybean Export Council, Soy Transportation Coalition and National Biodiesel Board to explore ways the soy family can better serve soybean farmers and members.In particular, policy and membership issues were at the forefront of ASA’s discussions, and Director of Policy Communications Patrick Delaney joined Illinois’ Mike Levin, Iowa’s Carol Balvanz and Ohio’s Adam Ward on a panel to discuss ways to address the barriers to more fluid policy communications between ASA and the state and regional affiliates. Censky and Schuermann also joined in the group’s discussion of ASA’s membership structure and how it might be tailored to better fit the needs of ASA’s diverse group of state partners. Additional discussion at the Birmingham meeting focused on the importance of a crisis communication planning and ASA Industry and State Relations Manager Christine Luelf participated in those discussions. Rounding out the week, meeting attendees participated in sessions designed to enhance the collaboration and effectiveness of the soy family.