December 11, 2017

South Dakotan Elected Chair of United Soybean Board

Lewis Bainbridge, a soybean farmer from South Dakota, was elected chair of the United Soybean Board (USB). Bainbridge, a third-generation farmer, previously served the board as USB vice chair. The soy checkoff, which works to maximize profit opportunities for U.S. soybean farmers through national investments, continues focusing on the areas of meal, oil and sustainability to increase farmer profit opportunities.

“We are very good at growing soybeans in the United States,” says Bainbridge. “Now, we need to focus on maximizing value of this crop.”

Knowing that volume alone is no longer enough to maintain market share is helping shape Bainbridge’s vision for the coming year. 

“In my time as chair, I want to continue the progress we have made in the past few years in differentiating our product and strengthening our competitiveness in the global marketplace, as well as building relationships with end users of U.S. soy,” says Bainbridge.

Bainbridge believes that by working together, the board and new CEO, Polly Ruhland, will continue making investments that benefit all soybean farmers.

Along with Bainbridge, USB elected nine directors to the USB Executive Committee:

  • Keith Tapp, Vice Chair – Kentucky
  • Jim Carroll, Secretary – Arkansas
  • Dan Farney, Treasurer – Illinois
  • John Dodson – Tennessee 
  • Gregg Fujan – Nebraska 
  • Woody Green – South Carolina
  • Meagan Kaiser – Missouri 
  • Rochelle Krusemark – Minnesota 
  • Mark Seib – Indiana

The farmers also selected members to serve on the Strategic Management Committee. Those farmers include Jacob Parker, North Carolina; Ray Schexnayder, Louisiana; and Doug Winter, Illinois.

USB’s 73 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 composition 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.