USB elects new Chair, Executive Committee and announces Tom Oswald Legacy Award.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (Dec. 7, 2022) — Farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) elected Meagan Kaiser from Missouri as 2023 Chair and nine additional farmer-leaders to serve on the Executive Committee during the USB December Meeting in St. Charles, Missouri.
“During my tenure at United Soybean Board, I’m proudest of our achievements in engagement for infrastructure investments,” said USB Chair Meagan Kaiser from Bowling Green, Missouri. “As we’ve seen production and transportation challenges brought on by drought this 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. I’m impressed with the strategic direction of our board, and I look forward to working as a collaborative leader alongside our farmer-leaders who represent more than 30 states.”
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
Also recognized at USB’s December Meeting is the new Tom Oswald Legacy Award to honor an individual, organization or group that has left an indelible mark on the soybean industry. The award honors the late Tom Oswald, who served on the Executive Committee and Chair of the Audit & Evaluation Committee, and he was a steadfast champion of the soy checkoff, serving for eight years. 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, Florida.
Tom Oswald served as a powerful advocate for soybean farmers. Tom always asked the question, “How do we make it better-er?” — meaning the extra steps, thoughts and efforts put forward to go beyond the expectation and provide the best possible outcome. Inspired by his impactful strides for progress within this industry, his persistent accountability in thinking strategically about how the checkoff can bring value back to the farm and his passion for sustainability earning him the nickname “No-Till Tom,” this award is ideally suited to honor his legacy.
“Tom would ask questions that made you think — questions that you had maybe thought about but just didn’t want to speak up,” said USB Past Chair Ralph Lott. “And Meagan, as our new Chair, shares a very similar outlook in challenging the status quo and bringing big ideas that accomplish real results for our soybean farmers. I have an immense fondness for this organization and appreciate your friendship and the support you gave me as your Chair.”
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 that prioritizes sustainable soy solutions for global and domestic customers while ensuring value and profitability for U.S. soybean farmers. Approved at the 2021 USB July Meeting with unanimous support, 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,” said USB CEO Polly Ruhland. “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 ROI for our soybean growers.”
About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board’s 77 volunteer farmer-leaders work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers create value by investing in research, education and promotion with the vision to deliver sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day across the three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology. 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 unitedsoybean.org.
Paul Murphy-Spooner at United Soybean Board, 515.975.6584.