United Soybean Board farmer-leaders elected Dan Farney from Morton, Illinois, as 2021 USB Chair and 10 other farmer-leaders to serve on the Executive Committee of USB at the annual meeting on December 9-10. In addition, 19 directors were sworn in for new terms by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“What an honor to have been selected by my fellow farmers to lead the soy checkoff next year,” said USB Chair Dan Farney. “I’m so proud of our accomplishments but look forward to going a step further to increase the value and preference for U.S. soy.”
USB leadership, with oversight from USDA, guides the activity of the national soy checkoff in accordance with the strategy outlined by the 78-member board.
“As the stewards of the soy checkoff, we are committed to research and market development on behalf of all soybean farmers that strengthens the resilience of U.S. soybean production. This ranges from developing new customers abroad to building demand domestically through animal agriculture, human consumption, biodiesel and industrial uses for over 1,000 products on the market,” Farney said.
USB continues to focus on three priority areas for investment: meal, oil and sustainability. During the board meeting and strategy sessions, USB directors considered market impacts and challenges in 2020 as well as opportunities that will affect soybean value into 2021.
“Soybean farmers are the definition of resilient,” said USB CEO Polly Ruhland. “You can’t knock them down, and you certainly can’t count them out. The checkoff is a reflection of that spirit. Your dedicated farmer-leaders not only push the checkoff forward, but they also rightly expect more from each successive project in which they invest.”
Key successes for 2020 that were discussed included checkoff-funded research, planning, analysis and design to inform the dredging of the lower Mississippi River and opening new export channels for U.S. soybeans. Demand was driven domestically as well, with large companies such as Skechers and Goodyear committing to using more U.S. soybean oil than ever in their products. And companies creating new products in infrastructure, including soy-based asphalt and a soy oil-based concrete enhancer, took key steps forward to reach widespread adoption and use on roadways and bridges.
“It’s been a difficult year in many ways, but soybean farmers have never strayed from their goal of providing a high-quality product to customers,” said USB Past Chair Jim Carroll III from Arkansas. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the work of our checkoff this past year in adapting during the pandemic to reach end users and maximize profit opportunities in new and innovative ways.”
The newly elected USB Executive Committee includes:
- Ralph Lott II, Vice Chair — New York
- David Iverson, Secretary — South Dakota
- Meagan Kaiser, Treasurer — Missouri
- Mark Seib — Indiana
- Rochelle Krusemark — Minnesota
- Tom Oswald — Iowa
- Belinda Burrier — Maryland
- Steve Reinhard — Ohio
- Ed Lammers — Nebraska
- Jim Carroll III, Past Chair (Ex Officio) — Arkansas
In addition, three farmer-directors were elected to serve on the Strategic Management Committee:
- Philip Good — Mississippi
- Andy Fabin — Pennsylvania
- Doug Winter — Illinois
Source: United Soybean Board