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Wells Farmer Elected President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association

MANKATO – Darin Johnson’s moment has arrived.

The affable Wells farmer climbed the advocacy leadership ladder and was elected president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Thursday during the organization’s quarterly board meeting at its newly renovated office in Mankato.

“It feels fantastic,” said Johnson, who’s served on MSGA for nearly a decade. “This is a family, and we’re fortunate to be surrounded by strong leadership and great mentors who have really built legacies within our industry. It’s just a great feeling knowing we have each other’s back here at MSGA.”

In addition to Johnson, Brownton farmer Ryan Mackenthun was elevated to vice president, St. James grower Rose Wendinger will move to treasurer, while new Secretary Kyle Jore of Thief River Falls rounds out MSGA’s 2024-25 officer team. In a sign of MSGA’s commitment to uplift the next generation of grower leaders, the current officer team is its youngest in recent memory.

“I’m very humbled to be elected (vice president),” Mackenthun said. “We’ve all had a chance to learn the ropes, and this is a great opportunity to continue moving MSGA forward.”

Johnson, who farms with his uncle Scott, his wife, Rachel, and their family, runs his own seed business and holds extensive advocacy experience. He joined his local Faribault County Corn & Soybean Growers Board more than 20 years ago and serves on the board of Ag Management Solutions, the association management group that oversees MSGA. Throughout his farmer leadership career, he’s advocated for MSGA at state and national hill visits; welcomed a presidential candidate to his farm; hosted legislative events and brought numerous international trade teams to his operation.

While serving as president, Johnson will help to advance MSGA’s legislative priorities as it prepares to visit with candidates during election season and strategize for the 2025 legislative session.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the year ahead to achieve our priorities and do our part to advocate and improve the outlook for our farmers,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited for the opportunity to lead this group.”

Johnson replaces the venerable Bob Worth, who stepped down after becoming MSGA’s only director to serve multiple, two-year terms as president. During Worth’s second term as president, MSGA achieved policy wins for its members related to crop input protection, tax relief, biodiesel, creating a grain indemnity fund, additional support for international trade programs and more. Worth also became a national advocate for rural mental health awareness.

Worth will continue advocating for Minnesota farmers. The Lincoln County producer was reelected as an at-large director and elected to represent Minnesota on the American Soybean Association (ASA), where he previously served as vice president. Worth’s ASA term begins in December, when he’ll replace Michael Petefish.

“It’s been an honor to be president of MSGA and I’m so excited to watch Darin and this officer team grow and lead,” Worth said.

During the meeting, the board also reelected Jamie Beyer, Adam Guetter, Chris Hill and Jim Kukowski to ASA.

About the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association

MSGA is a nonpartisan, farmer-led advocacy organization established in 1962. The organization represents the interests of Minnesota’s nearly 26,000 soybean farmers. MSGA’s goal is to ensure profitable soybean farming by influencing favorable farm legislation, monitoring government policies and supporting research and market development activities.

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