Ankeny, Iowa— The Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) elected its officers during the organization’s annual meeting in Savannah, Georgia, on December 12, 2022.
During the annual meeting, Chris Brossart of Wolford, North Dakota, was elected chairman. Brossart previously served as the STC vice chairman from 2021-2022. He and his wife, Jennie, have three children. Brossart also currently serves as chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition,” said Brossart. “This past year we have experienced a number of supply chain challenges and concerns – especially the low water conditions along the Mississippi River and the potential for a nationwide railroad strike. Throughout this time, I have been proud of how the Soy Transportation Coalition has been an effective resource and advocate on behalf of the U.S. soybean farmer. The work of this organization has never been more relevant. I look forward to continuing to serve my fellow soybean farmers through this important organization.”
Tim Gottman, a soybean and corn farmer from Monroe City, Missouri, was elected vice chairman. Gottman and his wife, Lenora, have three daughters. He previously served as the STC secretary-treasurer from 2021-2022. Gottman is also a director on the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.
“Farmers understand more and more how transportation impacts their bottom line,” says Gottman. “Whether it’s roads and bridges, freight railroads, inland waterways, or ports, the STC continues to be a leader in promoting a transportation infrastructure that helps farmers be successful.”
Mike Koehne, a soybean and corn farmer from Greensburg, Indiana, was elected secretary-treasurer. He and his wife, Jill, have four children. Koehne also serves as a director on the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the American Soybean Association.
“The Soy Transportation Coalition has become a true leader on ways to improve the infrastructure farmers rely upon,” says Koehne. “I have a passion for these issues and look forward to the STC continuing to achieve real benefits for my fellow soybean farmers. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as a leader in this effective organization.”
During the meeting, the STC board discussed and emphasized the various strategies and initiatives the organization seeks to continue to advance in 2023. These initiatives include:
- Continuing to monitor and be responsive to the challenges of the low water conditions along the Mississippi River and the inland waterway system
- Advocating for and promoting greater reliability of our freight rail system
- Continuing to support and encourage the project underway to deepen the lower Mississippi River
- Continuing the implementation of innovative and economical methods for repairing and replacing rural bridges
- Promoting the greater use of soy-based concrete and asphalt sealants and enhancers throughout the soybean supply chain
- Continuing to explore and promote new infrastructure investments to accommodate the increased production of soybean meal
- Continuing to promote the greater utilization of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway for soybean and soy product exports
Jonathan Miller of Island, Kentucky, concluded his two-year term limit as chairman. Miller will continue serving as a director on the STC board. Mike Bellar of Howard, Kansas, and Jerry Jeschke of Robinson, Kansas, both reached their nine-year limit for total service on the STC board. Bellar served as chairman of the STC from 2019-2020.
“One of the key reasons the Soy Transportation Coalition is such a successful organization is due to the dedication, thoughtfulness, and professionalism of our farmer leaders,” explains Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the STC. “I look forward to working with Chairman Brossart, Vice Chairman Gottman, and Secretary-Treasurer Koehne in continuing to promote a transportation system that enables farmers to be successful. I sincerely appreciate the nine years of service by Mike Bellar and Jerry Jeschke. We are a better organization because of them.”