Checkoff News

New Directors Appointed to United Soybean Board

USDA appoints 19 new, 24 returning soybean farmers to serve on the United Soybean Board.

St. LOUIS (November 27, 2019) — Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appointed 19 new and 24 returning directors to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB). These farmer-leaders will be officially sworn in for service at the annual USB meeting on December 11, and serve three-year terms.

“This year we are welcoming one of the largest classes of new directors USB has ever seen,” said USB Chair and Kentucky farmer Keith Tapp. “We have a strong group of new leaders who will join our ongoing work to innovate beyond the bushel. Each adds new perspective to the board and will help USB’s efforts to create new markets and opportunities for soybean farmers.”

Newly appointed farmer-leaders include:

  • Alabama — Wendy S. Yeager, Orville
  • Indiana — Donald Wyss, Fort Wayne
  • Iowa — Lindsay J. Greiner, Keota
  • Kansas — Kurt Maurath, Oakley
  • Kentucky — Barry Alexander, Cadiz
  • Minnesota — William Zurn, Callaway
  • Mississippi — Jerry Slocum, Coldwater
  • Nebraska — Ron Pavelka, Glenvil
  • North Carolina — Reginald H. Strickland, Mt. Olive
  • North Dakota — Matthew Gast, Valley City, and Ryan Richard, Horace
  • Ohio — Charles W. Bayliss, West Mansfield
  • South Dakota — Mike McCranie, Claremont, and Jason Frerichs, Wilmot
  • Tennessee — Don Willis, Hillsboro, and Steve May, Hurricane Mills
  • Virginia — Susan A. Watkins, Sutherland
  • Wisconsin — Tony Mellenthin, Menomomie
  • Eastern Region — J. Nicholas Kercheval, Harpers Ferry, WVa

Returning farmer-leaders include:

  • Arkansas — Derek Haigwood, Newport
  • Delaware — Cory Atkins, Seaford
  • Illinois — Doug Winter, Mill Shoals; and Daniel Farney, Morton
  • Indiana — Kevin Wilson, Walton
  • Kansas — Lance Rezac, Onaga
  • Louisiana — Charles J. Cannatella, Melville
  • Maryland — William Layton, Vienna
  • Michigan — David R. Williams, Elsie; and James B. Domagalski, Columbus
  • Minnesota — Gene Stoel, Lake Wilson
  • Mississippi — C. Douglas Simmons III, Leland
  • Missouri — Meagan Kaiser, Bowling Green; and Neal W. Bredehoeft, Alma
  • Nebraska — Ed Lammers, Hartington
  • New Jersey — Bill Bibus, Chesterfield
  • New York — Ralph K. Lott, Seneca Falls
  • North Dakota — Darren Kadlec, Pisek
  • Ohio — Steve Reinhard, Bucyrus
  • Oklahoma — Paul Fruendt, Guthrie
  • Pennsylvania — John Harrell, Lebanon
  • Wisconsin — Charles Prellwitz, Ripon; and Jennifer Poltermann, Genoa City
  • Western Region — Grant Watermann, Vona, Colorado

These directors join those already serving terms on the board to make a total of 78 directors. USB administers soybean checkoff funds to research, marketing and promotional efforts that maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These farmer-leaders aim to develop new and existing markets and build preference for U.S. soy, specifically in the areas of meal, oil and sustainability. Per the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the number of seats on the board is determined based on bushels produced in that region. Due to yield increases in 2018, USB will increase from 73 directors to 78.

USB’s 78 farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit


Media Contacts:

Paul Murphy-Spooner at United Soybean Board, 636-681-1254
Mace Thornton at United Soybean Board, 636-681-1263

© 2019 United Soybean Board. All Rights Reserved. [58915-CB]

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