The Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and Foundation for Soy Innovation have promoted Casey Wasser to serve as chief operating officer beginning July 1. Wasser has worked with legislators as the director of policy for Missouri Soybeans since 2016.
“I’m very excited,” Wasser said. “We represent some of the best people in the state: the agriculture community. I’ve learned a lot about the industry in my four and a half years, and I see this as an even better opportunity to continue to serve those same people.”
The promotion was announced in a news release June 8. Gary Wheeler, executive director and CEO of Missouri Soybeans, expressed confidence in Wasser as he moves into his new role.
“This is an important and exciting step forward for our ability to grow in service to Missouri farmers and with the opportunities and challenges across the soy value chain,” Wheeler said in the news release. “Casey has accomplished great things within our policy efforts, and he is truly seen as a leader and friend to our industry. He has proven himself time and time again to help manage our organizations, and this is a strong fit with his leadership on policy efforts at the state and federal levels.”
In his new role, Wasser sees himself as a hands-on implementer to complement the vision of the organization.
“We just continue to grow as an organization,” Wasser said. “We do that through leading in research and intellectual property that people don’t know we’re involved in. We’re leading in policy and politics and just our overall presence in the soybean industry.”
Wasser will continue Missouri Soybeans’ legislative policy work, which he said is guided by farmers and is “the absolute function of the association.”
Looking forward, Wasser is focused on driving up demand and consumption of Missouri-based biodiesel while building the biodiesel industry to help farmers.
“We’re always facing battles at the state level, but the big-ticket items will come at the federal level,” he said, such as trade agreements and the next farm bill.
Wasser is a lifelong resident of California, Missouri.
Missouri Soybeans has the Center for Soy Innovation in Jefferson City, and Wasser said the association worked with the Jefferson City Public Works Department to have them buy and use locally made biodiesel.
“We’re bringing more folks to the Jefferson City area; we want to help them grow economically with the river,” adding Missouri Soybeans is also involved in discussions about building a port.
As he prepares to begin his COO duties, Wasser views his promotion as an exciting step forward for Missouri Soybeans.
“For us, this is all about growth,” Wasser said. “We continue to grow and be seen as a leader. I’m excited to partner with our CEO and continue that growth and continue to deliver, so that’s exactly what we’re focused on.”