Voting in the ISA Board of Director Elections

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is funded and led by you, its members. If you want your voice heard and to see your input reflected in the work ISA does, it’s important that you vote in the election for the ISA Board of Directors.

ISA directors are elected by soybean producers in the various crop districts. All crop districts have two directors. Find your crop district here.

Once elected, a director serves a three-year term. They can serve no more than three terms.

View List of Iowa Farmers participating in the ISA Director Elections Vote

Candidate Biographies

You will find the candidate photos and their respective biographies below. All biographies were compiled and written by ISA staff and approved by the candidate. Candidates marked with (Incumbent) are currently serving on the board.

 At-Large Candidates

nullTim Bardole, Rippey (Incumbent)

Tim Bardole farms with his father, brother, and son in Greene County near Rippey. They have a no-till, strip-till soybean and corn row crop operation along with two hog finisher buildings. The family uses cover crops and split-apply nitrogen to help protect soil and water resources.

Bardole holds a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University. A past president of the Iowa Soybean Association, he has been a director on the ISA board for five years. Tim has chaired the ISA Public Affairs, Demand, I&E, and Resolutions committees. He has also been on the American Soybean Association/World Initiative for Soy in Human Health Committee.

Why I want to serve on the board:

I believe ISA is the best ag organization we have. The work that is done is critical to Iowa agriculture both on the production side and the marketing side. ISA also works hard at reaching out to urban

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

The biggest thing right now that I think soybean farmers are worried about is the uncertainty. It is never easy, but with policy changes in Washington, D.C., how will it affect trade, taxes, regulations and more? These are the things that keep me up at night and ISA has a voice in Des Moines and Washington, D.C. That voice has never been more important than now.

nullPat Murken, Story City

Pat Murken grows soybeans and corn while incorporating conservation and erosion control practices on his multi-generational farm. 

He attended Des Moines Area Community College before graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in industrial technology. Before starting a 40-year career with John Deere, Murken also served in the Peace Corps teaching farmers in the Philippines how to raise soybeans. Pat also earned his Master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix and completed Master’s level course work in industrial engineering. 

He’s the treasurer for his local Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and chairman of the trustees at his local church, where he is also the audio-visual director. He is a member of the local Greater Community Congress and volunteers for the annual Story City celebration, Scandinavian Days. He’s been involved with ISA research trials, ISA Experience Class, ISA Communications Squad, and was a volunteer for the Iowa Food and Family Project at the Iowa State Fair. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

Soybean farmers are destined to feed the world, and I want to be an integral part of maximizing soybean production. I believe I can make a positive difference in trade and marketing opportunities while an ISA director. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

Consistent marketing opportunities for soybeans. The second biggest issue is how we can become the lowest cost soybean producer in the world. We soybean farmers need to have a consistent, profitable return on our investment. The board can continue to support marketing strategies and process improvements. 

 

 District 1 Candidates

nullBrent Swart, Spencer (Incumbent)

Brent Swart and his brother raise soybeans and corn near Spencer. They are increasing the use of cover crops, strip-till and no-till systems on their fifth generation farm. 

Swart earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomy and a Master of Science in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University. A current Iowa Soybean Association District 1 director, Swart is also a Pioneer field agronomist. 

He has participated in ISA Experience Class, District Advisory Council, ISA research trials, American Soybean Association's leadership college, and the ASA/DuPont Young Leader Program. He’s also been a member of the U.S. Soybean Export Council's Sustainability and Market Access Strategic Utilization team and an ISA representative on the U.S. Meat Export Federation. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I would like to continue to serve on the ISA board and be a voice for farmers in northwest Iowa in research and policy decisions that affect their operations. I work with growers every day and I want to make sure their soybean checkoff 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

Maintaining profitability. ISA can continue to be a strong advocate for increasing and diversifying markets for our soybeans, finding new uses and increasing our presence in the biofuels industry, and growing relationships with current and new trade partners. It’s crucial for ISA to be a voice for Iowa farmers as our current administration sets policies, constructs programs, and defines regulations. ISA needs to continue to maintain its leadership in research to help Iowa farmers increase yields, profitability, and sustainability. 

nullKipp Fehr, Mallard 

Kipp Fehr farms near Mallard in Palo Alto County. Fehr rented his first farm when he was 16 years old. He switched to strip-till practices in 2013 to help conserve moisture and improve soil health on his farm. About half of his acres are irrigated with center pivots. He and his family also do custom strip-till and harvesting. 

Fehr has been active with the Palo Alto County Farm Bureau, serving as a board member, president, vice president and voting delegate. Fehr is also a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I’m interested in serving on the ISA board so I can continue to make a difference in agriculture and help promote issues that will benefit the Iowa soybean farmer. I feel that the connections I have made across Iowa and in the state government will allow me to discuss different issues that affect farmers and work toward solutions. Serving on the ISA board will allow me to help bring the benefits of good trade relations and be involved in new uses for the soybeans we raise. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

The most important issue facing soybean farmers right now is making sure there is a constant strong demand for our soybeans through trade with other countries as well as domestic use. Prices are in a good area currently and ISA can continue to develop strong relationships with end users—both foreign and domestic—so farmers can benefit f rom good prices, benefitting the entire state. 

 

 District 2 Candidates

nullApril Hemmes, Hampton (Incumbent) 

April Hemmes grows soybeans, corn, alfalfa and pasture on her farm, which is celebrating its 120th year owned and operated by her family. She practices no-till, conservation tillage and has buffer strips, wetlands and pollinators. 

Hemmes, a current ISA District 2 director, earned a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Iowa State University. 

She serves on the United Soybean Board, USDA Foreign Ag Service Ag Trade Advisory Council, Soy Nutrition Institute Board of Directors, Iowa State University Ivy College of Business Department of Management Executive Advisory Council, Iowa Beginning Farmer Center Advisory Council, Iowa State University Ag Endowment Advisory Council, Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award nominating committee, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group Lead User Group, Franklin County Soil & Water Commission, Franklin County Farm Service Agency County Committee, Iowa Corn Growers and Iowa Farm Bureau, and is a township clerk. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

Serving the past six years, I have seen that this board really can make a difference in research, demand, promotion, and policy. I can bring different insights that help bring innovative and productive projects to Iowa producers. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

With my new appointment to the FAS Ag Trade Advisory Council I will vocalize farmers’ thoughts to those who develop trade policy. Our soybeans really are the best and most accessible in the world. I will work on demand of the soybeans and getting fair trade policies so producers can thrive.  

nullKevin Krumwiede, Ledyard

Kevin Krumwiede farms near Ledyard in Kossuth County. He farms with his brother-in-law raising soybeans and corn. 

Krumwiede has been involved in his community as a church elder as well as with several agricultural organizations including the Kossuth County Farm Bureau, where he’s been a member for more than three decades and served in positions including president. He’s also been involved with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Ag Leaders Institute, serving as an Iowa Farm Bureau voting delegate to represent Iowa at the annual American Farm Bureau meeting. Krumwiede is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers and the Iowa Soybean Association, serving as a District Advisory Council member for the ISA and completing the ISA Experience class. Krumwiede says since becoming a DAC member, he’s never missed a meeting. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

After taking the ISA Experience Class and learning more about all that ISA is involved in, I felt the need to get more information and get involved myself. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

Some of the biggest issues include markets, new uses, and new technology. We need to advance our industry by working on developing new markets and uses and help to keep the price of new technology affordable for the farmers who need it. Farmers simply need support to protect profitability to keep farming.
 District 3 Candidates

nullSuzanne Shirbroun, Farmersburg (Incumbent)

Suzanne Shirbroun farms in Clayton county and serves as an Iowa Soybean Association District 3 Director. She is a sixth-generation farmer and raises soybeans and corn with her family. 

Suzanne graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s of science in agronomy and pest management. She’s served two terms on the ISA board of directors. She is currently the vice president of the NCSRP Board of Directors and has also served as secretary and treasurer. She’s a Clayton County 4-H program club leader and coach of the Clayton County crop scouting teams. She volunteers as a coach for the FFA agronomy career development event. Suzanne is a member of the Clayton County Corn Growers Association, Clayton County Assessors Review Board, and of the Norway Lutheran Church in St. Olaf. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

Six years ago I was interested in serving on the ISA board to learn how my checkoff dollars are used to fund research, develop markets and new uses for soybeans, etc. Today, the answer is still the same. It’s important for farmers to take an active role in the use of our checkoff money. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

Soybean farmer profitability is the top priority. To be profitable we need demand. To maintain demand we need to be competitively priced compared to our South American competitors. To stay competitively priced, we need good transportation, infrastructure, supply and government policy. It’s a challenge to maintain all of these points, but that is why we have the ISA.  

nullJim Fitkin, Cedar Falls 

James “Jim” Fitkin grows soybeans, corn and popcorn on his fourth-generation family farm near Cedar Falls in Black Hawk County. He has also raised hogs and dairy cows. 

A candidate for the District 3 race, Fitkin is a member of the Iowa Soybean Association’s District Advisory Council and is an active participant with ISA’s Communications Squad. He has also been a director for the Black Hawk County Farm Bureau for more than a decade. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I want to help spread the story of how the soybean farmer is sustainably feeding the world. And help steer the government in a pro-ag direction. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

I feel that the government is the biggest issue currently facing Iowa soybean farmers. But it shouldn't be. Iowa soybean farmers know how to produce the food consumed by the world in a safe and sustainable fashion. And much of the time the government issues uneducated regulations that hinder us in this task. I would like to help the ISA board educate the public and the legislature about American agriculture to help them make wise decisions concerning ag. 
 District 6 Candidates

nullRobb Ewoldt, Davenport (Incumbent) 

Robb Ewoldt farms in Scott County, raising soybeans, corn and hay using strip-till and no-till systems. He also raises cow-calf pairs and has a custom hog finishing operation. 

Ewoldt is president-elect of the Iowa Soybean Association, and has also served as a director, treasurer, and secretary for ISA. He also serves as a board member for the Soy Transportation Coalition and has been a voting delegate, treasurer, vice president and president for Scott County Farm Bureau. Ewoldt is a first responder, a member of the Calvary Church, a township trustee, and a member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. 

Ewoldt and his family have been opening their farm for tours and discussions on ag issues for more than a decade. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

It’s more important than ever we have a voice and lobby in D.C. to get more ag-friendly policies. I have testified before the House Ag Committee regarding the trade war and the need for Market Facilitation Program payments. I advocated for renewable fuels during an EPA hearing. Those experiences helped shape the discussion surrounding those issues, and I want to continue advocating on behalf of my fellow soybean farmers. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

Farm profitability. As soybean prices rise, so too have input costs. There’s a need to educate about what we’re doing to cut input costs to farm profitably. There’s a lot of research and resources within the ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation to show how farmers are productive and efficient.  

null

Josh Henik, Mount Vernon 

Josh Henik raises soybeans, corn, and cattle on the family’s seventh-generation farm. He is also a crop instructor at Kirkwood Community College, where he has developed partnerships including with ISA’s Research Center for Farming Innovation. 

Josh earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in agronomy at Iowa State University. He is vice president for Linn County Farm Bureau and has participated in Iowa Farm Bureau’s Ag Leaders Institute. Henik is a member of his parish council, has served as a voting delegate for Iowa Soybean Association District 6, and serves on the board of directors for the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

Engagement by our farmers through their representative organizations help shape the future of trade and farm policy, develop programs to advance commodity production, and provide a voice to the minority of individuals who provide the foodstuffs for most of the population. If my fellow producers believe that I possess the skills and experience required to represent them I would humbly serve to advance the interests of Iowa’s soybean farmers. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

There has been an emphasis placed on issues related to climate and the environment, and ISA's history of work with conservation practices, water quality, and on-farm research uniquely positions the organization to speak to these issues. Advocating for expanded markets is critical to the future of the soy industry. To deliver on these markets, ISA must continue to push for a focus on infrastructure. 
 District 7 Candidates

nullChris Gaesser, Lenox

Chris Gaesser raises soybeans, corn and cereal rye with his wife, Shannon, and his parents near Corning. The family raises cover crops and cleans and sells cover crop seeds. They have incorporated numerous conservation practices on their farm. 

Gaesser earned his Bachelor of Science in agronomy from Iowa State University. Gaesser says he’s dedicated to on-farm research and keeps an open mind on trying new things on his farm. 

A challenger in the District 7 board election, he is active in the Iowa Soybean Association’s District Advisory Council, the ISA Research Advisory board, and the Iowa Farm Bureau Issue Advisory Committee. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I have a passion for agriculture and its image. I love research and helping communicate with the general population about the importance of agriculture and the reasons we do the things we do. I also think it's important to help increase conservation efforts to deter further regulation, so farmers are not as restricted on how they do things. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

Continuing to expand trade opportunities so as not to become too reliant on any one country. 

Lee Brooke, Clarinda 

nullLee Brooke farms near Clarinda with his son and son-in-law. They raise soybeans, corn, hay and also have a cow-calf operation, a cattle feedlot and contract finish hogs. 

A challenger in the District 7 board election, Brooke graduated from the farm operations program at Iowa State University. He is the current president of the Southwest Iowa Rural Water Association, and a member of the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Pork Producers Association. He has held leadership positions with a local cooperative, church, cattlemen’s board, and has served as a representative on the Land O’Lakes Executive Council. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I am interested in serving on the ISA board because I want to help promote market development and new uses through research of soybean products. I want to do my part in keeping the soybean industry competitive and viable in the future and for other countries. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

All farmers, including Iowa soybean growers, are facing new challenges every day to feed the expanding population in a cost-effective way. The ISA board can help growers by being involved in making sure there is free and fair trade around the world and by keeping new regulations in check. The board can help in the development of new products/uses of soybeans to help in the profitability of soybean farmers. Consumer education from the ISA is vital to soybean growers. Another important issue is the challenge of bringing the younger generation into farming.
 District 9 Candidates

nullPat Swanson, Ottumwaa (Incumbent) 

Pat Swanson farms near Ottumwa in southeast Iowa and serves as District 9 director for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). She farms with her husband, Don, and their families. The sixth generation to farm, they raise soybeans, corn and cattle. 

Swanson graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in computer science. She’s currently serving on the Wapello County 4-H Foundation, Iowa CommonGround, ISA Communications Squad, the Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Committee, the American Soybean Association (ASA) Agriculture Communications Team, and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board. She and her husband also own Son Risk Management, a crop insurance agency they started in Ottumwa in 2002. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I’ve enjoyed serving on the ISA board and I feel it’s more important than ever that we advocate for Iowa’s soybean farmers at the state and federal levels with our legislators and the consumers of our products. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

There is nothing more satisfying than bringing in a big harvest after all of the hard work. We need to find more uses for our soybeans through our research projects and more markets by working with our new administration on trade policies. Programs like AgOutcomes Fund is going to be more important than ever and we need to continue our work on this creative approach to protect water quality and sequester carbon.  

nullLance Bell, Keota 

Lance Bell has been farming with his wife, Kerri, for more than 30 years, growing soybeans, corn, and alfalfa. They also have a Hereford cow-calf operation that started with their twin college daughters, Ellie and Sophie, as 4-H projects. 

An Iowa State University alumnus, Bell has served as president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association District 9, as a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association Animal Agriculture & Environment Committee, as president of the Washington Keokuk County Corn & Soybean Growers Association, and treasurer for the Washington FFA Alumni. He’s a member of the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, Iowa and National Hereford Association and Washington United Methodist Church. 

Why I want to serve on the board:

I'm interested in serving on the ISA board as I continue making connections with fellow soybean farmers across the county, district, state, and nation to make us stronger collectively and in our own family operation, too. These opportunities continue to give our daughters, Ellie and Sophie, a stronger base of communication skills, knowledge to grow and learn to make our operation better, a better work ethic, and pride in sharing our story with those who share the same passions. 

I think the most important issue facing soybean farmers is:

The biggest issue facing Iowa soybean farmers right now is sustainable profitability; keeping markets open enough so that we can stay profitable. I look forward to working with the board on how best to address this issue.