The national soybean checkoff just wrapped up its first 20 years, but the work doesn't end there. As the United Soybean Board (USB) launches into the next 20 years, new U.S. soybean farmer-leaders take the reins and plan to continue the focus on creating profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers.
USB farmer-directors elected Vanessa Kummer as chairperson Dec. 6, at the checkoff's annual meeting in St. Louis. The Colfax, N.D., soybean farmer will have a busy agenda leading the soybean checkoff's implementation of a new strategic plan. Kummer looks at addressing recommendations from a farmer-driven assessment of USB and help lead the U.S. soybean industry. She will continue to shepherd the checkoff as it looks to increase soybean farmers' profitability in an ever-evolving industry.
"It is our vision to make U.S. soybeans the leader in the global oilseed industry," says Kummer. "We plan to create and maintain partnerships to keep U.S. soybean farmers profitable." Kummer is the first woman elected to chair the national soybean checkoff.
The team set to lead USB and help the soybean checkoff meet global customer demands with Kummer includes the following officers:
• Jim Stillman, Emmetsburg, Iowa, vice chair
• Jim Call, Madison, Minn., secretary
• Bob Haselwood, Berryton, Kan., treasurer
New USB Board directors include Lewis Bainbridge, Ethan, S.D.; Russ Carpenter, Trumansburg, N.Y.; Sharon Covert, Tiskilwa, Ill; Jim Schriver, Montpelier, Ind.; Jimmy Sneed, Hernando, Miss.; and Rick Stern, Cream Ridge, N.J. Marc Curtis, a soybean farmer from Leland, Miss., will continue to serve on the leadership team as past chair.
"We have a great direction and a good team to make things happen," adds Kummer. "We're excited to help direct action that will increase soy's value for all U.S. soybean farmers."
In 2012, the soybean checkoff plans to focus on specific, new strategic objectives. They include directing soybean checkoff dollars to improve U.S. soybean meal and oil, helping ensure U.S. soybean farmers have the freedom and adequate transportation infrastructure to operate and meeting the needs customers of U.S. soy here at home and abroad. In addition, USB made supporting the biggest domestic user of soy, U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers, its top priority.
USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.
Source: United Soybean Board