The new 2016 Indiana Soybean Alliance officer team is off and running after being elected by the board at the December meeting. Joe Steinkamp of Evansville was elected as the ISA president and he says the team that will help direct the Indiana checkoff in its 50th year is a nicely varied group of farmers.
“We have women and men both on the board, people from their 30’s to their 60’s,” he said. So we’ve got a great mix of people that have been on the board different lengths of time and give us different perspectives and from all areas of the state. So we’re a well rounded group, well versed, and trained in leadership and trying to do the best we can with the soybean checkoff dollars in the state of Indiana.”
The executive committee includes Don Wyss of Fort Wayne as vice president; Elaine Gillis of Dunkirk as secretary; Joe Tuholski of LaPorte as treasurer; Matt Chapman of Springport as grain production and utilization committee chair; Jim Douglas of Flat Rock as marketing and communication committee chair; and Jeanette Merritt of Peru as membership and policy committee chair.
There will be another election for new board members in July, but there is a March 11th application deadline if you would like to be on the ballot. Steinkamp says it’s important to get the best and brightest to serve.
“We have a huge responsibility spending ½ of 1% of every soybean farmers’ check and doing the right things with those dollars with the goal of enhancing the future income for Indiana soybean farmers. So the directors have large responsibilities to shepherd over these dollars and there’s a time commitment for being on the board, but it’s very rewarding personally but you’re also helping your neighboring farmers in Indiana and actually across the whole United States to be a better producers and to find new markets for their soybeans.”
Steinkamp told HAT the hardest thing to learn when joining the ISA board is all the soy industry acronyms but there is plenty of support for the new members.
“We have staff that do the training and help you get acclimated right away. And the people that you sit next to at the meetings are going to be your new friends because they all went through the same thing and they want to get you up to speed as quick as you can to help make quality decisions.”
Indiana soybean farmers interested in serving on the Indiana Soybean Alliance board of directors must submit completed applications by March 11, 2016. Farmers must sign a Director Expectation Statement and submit an Indiana Soybean Leader Profile form. Download the form at www.indianasoybean.com/elections or call Hannah Vorsilak at 317-644-2791. Completed paperwork must be postmarked or faxed on or before March 11, 2016 to be eligible.
To find a listing of current ISA farmer-directors and a map of voting districts, visit www.indianasoybean.com/about-us/directors. “Farmers interested in running for the board should reach out to the current farmer-directors in their district and ask about their experience with the organization,” said Steinkamp.
ISA has four voting districts in the state and farmers elected to the 24-member board of directors will serve a three-year term. Eight seats are up for re-election with vacant seats in Districts 1 and 4.
District I counties include: Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Elkhart, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, La Porte, Lake, Marshall, Miami, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Tipton, Wabash and White.
District II counties include: Adams, Allen, Blackford, Dekalb, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Huntington, Jay, La Grange, Madison, Noble, Randolph, Steuben, Wayne, Wells and Whitley.
District III counties include: Clay, Daviess, Dubois, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Spencer, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren and Warrick.
District IV counties include: Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio, Orange, Perry, Ripley, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Switzerland, Union and Washington.
Candidates for the ISA Board are required to have been engaged in the growing of soybeans in Indiana in the last two years. Candidates must certify that they own the soybeans or share the ownership and risk of loss of the soybeans.
Voting will take place in July and ballots will be distributed to Indiana soybean farmers by mail. Those farmers elected in July will begin serving on the ISA board of directors in December 2016.