The American Soybean Association hired Scott Gerlt (GER-ult), who is the first person to take on the role of staff economist with the organization. Gerlt lives in Missouri and will work out of the St. Louis office. He’s highly regarded within agricultural economic circles, thanks to his policy work with the Food and Agricultural Research Institute, where he has more than 10 years of experience. Some of that experience includes working with policymakers to develop the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills. Gerlt grew up on a diversified farm with both row crops and livestock in Missouri. In the new role, he’ll provide insight on relevant agricultural economics and analysis of current and future ASA policy. ASA CEO Ryan Findlay says, “Having an economist on staff will enrich our internal discussions on issues and strengthen our public arguments for why policymakers need to take action on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers. It’s exciting for ASA to find someone with both his policy experience and enthusiasm for working directly with farmers.” The organization says Gerlt will provide a lot of clarity on what ASA is requesting from policymakers during lobbying and how it will affect U.S. soybean farmers and their communities.