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United Soybean Board elects new leadership

Courtesy of USB Meagan Kaiser-2312-SIZED.jpg
NEW LEADER: Meagan Kaiser, Bowling Green, Mo., is the new chair of the United Soybean Board. The organization announced its new executive committee at its December meeting.
Meagan Kaiser from Missouri moves into the top spot as the organization announces new executive committee and a special legacy award.

The United Soybean Board wrapped up its December meeting by announcing new farmer-leaders on the board. And the organization elected Meagan Kaiser from Missouri as its 2023 Chair along with nine new members to serve on the Executive Committee.

Says Kaiser, from Bowling Green, Mo.: “During my tenure at United Soybean Board, I’m proudest of our achievements in engagement of infrastructure investments.”

She notes that production and transportation challenges brought on by drought during the past growing season, farmers’ investments to the checkoff “are more critical than ever in enhancing resilience on the farm, building preference for U.S. soy and providing a reliable supply to our customers.”

The newly elected USB Executive Committee includes:

  • Meagan Kaiser, Chair — Missouri
  • Steve Reinhard, Vice Chair — Ohio
  • Ed Lammers, Secretary — Nebraska
  • Philip Good, Treasurer — Mississippi
  • Matt Gast — North Dakota
  • April Hemmes — Iowa
  • Gary Berg — Illinois
  • Brent Gatton — Kentucky
  • Belinda Burrier — Maryland
  • Laurie Isley — Michigan

Kaiser brings significant experience and first-hand knowledge of USB’s strategic focus. She previously served as Strategic Plan Task Force Chair and oversaw a nearly 20-member committee that created the current strategic plan. The new plan prioritizes sustainable soy solutions for global and domestic customers while ensuring value and profit ability for U.S. soybean farmers. Approved at the 2021 USB July meeting, the Strategic Plan Task Force served a critical role in creating the plan, engaging farmer-leaders and value chain partners and ensuring it reflected the future state of the industry.

Kaiser previously served as vice chair, leading the Value Alignment Committee in addition to treasurer and various other appointments within the organization.

“Meagan’s commitment to USB bodes well for what’s ahead under her leadership to make 2023 a memorable year for the checkoff,” says Polly Ruhland, USB CEO. “This past year, growth in renewable diesel, investments in climate-smart agriculture, challenges across our infrastructure ecosystem and global conflicts tested the capability of U.S. agriculture. Our farmer-leaders are dedicated to moving strategically sound projects forward that generate a lasting [return on investment] for our soybean growers.”

New award initiated

Tom Oswald was a powerful advocate for soybean farmers and his loss has been felt in the organization. He served on the Executive Committee and Chair of the Audit and Evaluation Committee, serving for eight years. To honor his work, the association has created the Tom Oswald Legacy Award to honor an individual, organization or group that has left an indelible mark on the soybean industry.

Oswald always worked on accountability and thinking strategically about how the checkoff can bring value back to the farm and he had a passion for sustainability that earned him the nickname “No-Till Tom.” The new award aims to honor that legacy.

Nominations are open online and will close on Jan. 10, 2023. Farmer-leaders will announce the award recipient in March 2023 at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Source: United Soybean Board

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