USB elects new leaders

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 (Koo-mer) as chairperson on Dec. 6, during the checkoff’s annual meeting. 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,” Kummer said. “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 as Vice Chair;

Jim Call, Madison, Minn., as Secretary;

Bob Haselwood, Berryton, Kan., as Treasurer;

Lewis Bainbridge, Ethan, S.D.

Russ Carpenter, Trumansburg, N. Y.

Sharon Covert, Tiskilwa, Ill.

Jim Schriver, Montpelier, Ind.

Jimmy Sneed, Hernando, Miss.

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,” Kummer said. “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.

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