After being appointed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, 17 soy farmers will be sworn in as directors of the United Soybean Board at its upcoming annual meeting, Dec. 10 in St. Louis.
The 17 soybean farmers will include five new appointees and 12 returning directors.
Additionally, USDA announced USB will increase its number of farmer-leaders from 70 to 73 to reflect growing U.S. soybean production. These new directors will be from Missouri, New Jersey and Wisconsin. The change will be effective for the 2016 board-appointment process.
This year's new volunteer farmer-leaders invest soy checkoff funds on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers in projects to improve farmer profit potential.
With unpredictable prices, growing production worldwide and more competition, USB says American soybean farmers will need more innovation, such as improved seed varieties and technology, new ways of generating demand and new methods for increasing the value they receive from soybean meal and oil.
"We are thrilled to have these farmer-leaders be part of a new chapter with the United Soybean Board," says Bob Haselwood, USB chairman. "The checkoff is dedicated to using advancements in technology to help U.S. soy remain a top choice for our customers, and these farmer-leaders will be instrumental in helping us accomplish that."
Appointed farmer-leaders include:
• Jim Carroll III, Arkansas*
• Walter L. Godwin, Georgia*
• Gary Berg, Illinois (2-year term)
• Lynn Rohrscheib, Illinois
• Mark Alan Seib, Indiana*
• April Hemmes, Iowa
• Dennis Clark, Kentucky*
• Raymond S. Schexnayder, Jr., Louisiana*
• Rochelle Krusemark, Minnesota
• Todd A. Gibson, Missouri*
• Mark Caspers, Nebraska*
• Morris Lee Shambley, North Carolina*
• Jay Myers, North Dakota*
• John Motter, Ohio*
• Andrew J. Fabin, Pennsylvania
• David Gregory Iverson, South Dakota*
• Robert W. White, Jr., Virginia*
*Indicates returning director
All but one appointee will serve three-year terms. Qualified State Soybean Boards nominated all of the appointees.
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy's customers.
As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.