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Vote in ISA board of directors elections

Article cover photo
Iowa Soybean Association President Lindsay Greiner, who grows soybeans near Keota, encourages Iowa soybean farmers to vote in the ISA Board of Directors elections in July. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Editor's note: Below is a letter to Iowa soybean farmers from Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President Lindsay Greiner, who farms near Keota.

Iowa soybean farmers:

In order to ensure your voice is heard on issues impacting your operation, I encourage you all to vote in the election for the ISA Board of Directors in July.

The 22 farmer volunteers are responsible for investing soybean checkoff dollars and implementing the policy goals of Iowa soybean producers in Iowa and in Washington, D.C. ISA directors serve three-year terms and can serve a maximum of three terms.

I sincerely thank all of these leaders for running for the board. No matter the results, running shows their willingness to lead and be involved, which is critically important to the success of ISA. I strongly encourage all soybean farmers to get to know your board members once they take office in September.

This year, ISA leaders in Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and one At-Large will be elected to serve. Soybean farmers living in Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 will cast votes for the seat in their respective crop district as well as the At- Large seat. Farmers in District 8 will cast votes for two district seats and the At-Large seat. Soybean farmers residing in Districts 1, 2 and 9 will cast votes for the At-Large director.

Watch for ballots in the mail in July. To qualify, all ballots must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2019, and include the signed soybean producer affidavit. Any questions about the election can be addressed to ISA Director of Producer Services Heather Lilienthal at producerservices@iasoybeans.com or 515-334-1016.

Sincerely, 
Lindsay Greiner
ISA President

MEET THE CANDIDATES

Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name. 

GREG EIBS, LAUREL

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, seed corn

Education: High school graduate

Agricultural involvement: Iowa Corn Growers Association board member, ISA District Advisory Council, Marshall County Farm Bureau member, Marshall County Corn and Soybean Association board

Community involvement: Served five years on local school board, served 10 years on local telephone board, coached girls softball for 10 years

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
Right now, our biggest issue is profitability. All of the farm groups need to work together to try and get the tariff issues resolved with China and other countries.

   

BRENT RENNER, KLEMME Incumbent

Operation description: Soybeans, corn and alfalfa

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural studies, Iowa State University

Agricultural involvement: ISA Board of Directors 2016-2019, District Advisory Council and Research Advisory Council; Iowa Farm Bureau past chair of Young Farmer Committee, Hancock County Farm Bureau past president, Indian Lake Watershed Management Group member

Community involvement: Former junior high and assistant high school wrestling coach, Zion Evangelical Reformed Church member, Sunday school superintendent

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
Continually finding new, innovative and environmentally sound practices that produce more bushels for less. On the other side of the coin, it is imperative that we continue to search out and develop relationships with our trading partners around the world and make our voices heard on important trade-related policies. We must also take advantage of the opportunity to educate the public and our government representatives about what we do, how we do it and why.

GEORGE BEARDMORE, DORCHESTER

Operation description: 625 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa; century farm with additional 250 acres timber along Upper Iowa River

Education: Degree in animal science, Iowa State University

Agricultural involvement: ISA District Advisory Council, Allamakee County Farm Bureau board member, National Corn Growers Association member, Allamakee Clayton Rural Electric Coop board member

Community involvement: New Albin Fire Department board member, Union City Township trustee, Mt. Hope Church and cemetery boards

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
EPA just reaffirmed glyphosate is not a public health risk. Now I can confidently use no-till and cover crops and encourage other growers to do the same. Healthier soils make cleaner water. We need to do more consumer education and I have some ideas. One idea involves getting our economic development people to organize a camp experience for young urban educators. It would be a Rural America Experience where they would experience our recreation, see attractions and have ag excursions where we could explain ag issues. Thanks for letting me run. If you support me, I will support you.  

   

RICK JUCHEMS, PLAINFIELD Incumbent

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, cover crops and hogs

Education: Bachelor of Science in animal science, South Dakota State University

Agricultural involvement: Butler Co. Cattleman Association, Bremer Co. Corn and Soybean Association, Northeast Iowa Research Farm (Nashua) Vice President, Butler County Farm Service Agency chair and committee member, Iowa Sustainable Ag Research and Education advisory council

Community involvement: St. Paul Lutheran Church board, Waverly; Butler County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner, Cedar Valley Resource Conservation and Development President

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The loss of soil and nutrients. I don’t think it’s just a soybean problem, but a row crop problem. We’re not protecting and feeding the soil enough to improve it and pass it on to the next generation. More emphasis and research need to be directed toward this issue. This is still relevant today.

MARTY DANZER, CARROLL

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, cow-calf, hay and cover crops

Education: Associate degree in ag business, Iowa Western Community College

Agricultural involvement: ISA member, Carroll County Pork Producers past president and vice president, Carroll County Farm Bureau past president and vice president, Carroll County Cattleman's Association member, Iowa Corn Growers member

Community involvement: Worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service for 10 years, Knights of Columbus member and Men's Club at St. John Paul II Church, Wesco Industries volunteer, which services the disabled

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
Two of the biggest issues facing Iowa soybean farmers are enhancing the Renewable Fuel Standard and developing export markets to the world marketplace. The ISA and the board will need to communicate with state and national representatives to promote biofuels as a clean energy product. They also need to continue searching and reaching out to other countries to develop new foreign markets. I would use my 16 years of experience on the Carroll County Board of Supervisors overseeing an operating budget of approximately $21 million to help ISA hone the budget in these leaner times.

   

RANDY SOUDER, ROCKWELL CITY

Operation description: Soybeans and corn

Education: Degree in mechanical design drafting

Agricultural involvement: Past ISA board member and executive committee member, past chairman of the ISA Information & Education committee, past Soy Aquaculture Alliance board member and board secretary, Iowa Farm Bureau member, past chairman of Calhoun County Extension Council

Community involvement: 4-H member mentor and project judge at the county and state fair, church council, volunteer for the Iowa Food and Family project

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The biggest issue the Iowa soybean farmer has to face is depressed prices. The ISA board can help by funding research projects that will help the Iowa farmer produce soybeans at a lower cost per bushel by either reducing input costs or higher yields. Looking at the plant structure of a soybean, there is immense untapped potential. Higher yields will mean more pressure on market prices. One avenue we might consider is to be the world's Walmart for soybeans and reclaim market share by making it uneconomical to buy soybeans elsewhere or use other oil or protein seed.

JACK BOYER, REINBECK

Operation description: 750 acres of soybeans, corn, seed corn and cereal rye cover crops in Black Hawk, Grundy and Tama counties

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering,  Oklahoma State University; master’s degree in engineering management, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Agricultural involvement: Practical Farmers of Iowa board of directors and research cooperator, Conservation Districts of Iowa Region 7 director, Tama County SWCD chairman, promoter and frequent speaker on cover crops and soil health

Community involvement: Past Reinbeck City Council member, member of the First Baptist Church of Grundy Center

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The biggest issues that I believe soybean farmers face today are resistant weeds and market uncertainty. I believe ISA can assist with both issues by continuing to promote high-quality Iowa soybeans to China and the world. They can also assist with research activities for managing resistant weeds. ISA is also a recognized voice in the water quality improvement efforts.

   

PAT MURKEN, STORY CITY

Operation description: Smaller 4thgeneration family farm (corn, soybeans, oats, and hay) — farmed by my wife and I during my 40-year employment at John Deere

Education: Des Moines Area Community College technical degree; bachelor’s degree, University of Northern Iowa; Master of Business Administration, University of Phoenix; additional graduate-level course work in production engineering and international supply management

Agricultural involvement: Practical Farmers of Iowa member and participant, Key Coop member, Prairie Brand Seed soybean seed producer, Iowa Crop Improvement Association (participated in certified seed, hay and mulch programs), 2017 Steven L. Fales Conservation Award

Community involvement: Assisted farmers in the Philippines raising soybeans on former sugar cane farms as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, former Story City Park and Recreation board member and started youth soccer program

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The fair and equitable distribution of the profit margin that should be in place for every bushel of soybeans produced by a row crop farmer. The ISA board can help address this by: Participating in global soybean trading conversations; supporting university and commercial research and engineering for expanded use of soybeans, creating increased market demand, additional high volume and niche market demand; supporting creation of a high-protein soybean that could feed underdeveloped nations at a lower logistic cost and volume than soybeans currently available; and advertising the benefits of soy in your diet.

   

TOM VINCENT, PERRY

Operation description: Raise soybeans (no-till) and corn, raised seed beans for two seed companies, initiated a cover crop program in the last two years

Education: Farm operation degree, Iowa State University

Agricultural involvement: ISA District Advisory Council member and Experience class participant, ISA Research Conference advisory board member, National Pork Producers Council board and Dallas County Pork Producers board member, Farm House Fraternity association board past president and building committee chairman, Iowa Food & Family project ambassador

Community involvement: Perry Kiwanis Club, St. Patrick’s Church finance council

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
As a former pork producer, I have experienced how anti-ag groups have tried to use agendas and emotion to drive agriculture’s direction, as opposed to objectivity and science. Similarly, Des Moines Water Works, the EPA and others have pushed an agenda that could ultimately result in negative consequences for the row crop industry. I plan to do my part through advocacy and involvement in the programs at ISA. I’m stepping up my own efforts surrounding the Nutrient Reduction Strategy and hope to serve a productive leadership role within ISA in an effort to get out in front of public opinion.

SCOTT HINGTGEN, BELLEVUE

Operation description: 120 head robotic dairy along with 1,300 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa

Education: Bellevue Marquette High School

Agricultural involvement: Jackson County Farm Bureau past vice president, president and current treasurer, Jackson/Clinton County dairy board member

Community involvement: Hosted “Lunch on the Dairy Farm” for the second time in June, inviting the community to experience our operation.

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The current trade situation is a huge concern. I think the ISA board can help by keeping any lines of communication open with our trading partners. 

DAVE WALTON, WILTON Incumbent

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, beef cattle, sheep, run hay ground for forages and sell hay

Education: Studied animal science at Iowa State University

Agricultural involvement: ISA director currently serving on executive board as secretary, ISA Policy Advisory Council, Iowa Biodiesel Board director, National Biodiesel Foundation director, 2003 ASA/DuPont Young Leader

Community involvement: School district community advisory panel for 10 years, volunteer youth sports coach for 12 years

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The three most pressing issues are access to foreign markets, infrastructure funding so Iowa farmers can ship products to those markets, and continued support for biofuels. Recently, all three have come under fire and ISA has helped by raising awareness and maintaining direct lines of communication with those who can impact the decisions. Lastly, access to new biotech traits and new chemistry is important to all soybean farmers. As insect and weed pests emerge, we need new ways to combat those issues. ISA helps through funding, research and by amplifying the voice of those we represent.

CHRIS GAESSER, LENOX

Operation description: No-till corn and soybean operation with cover crops

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy, Iowa State University

Agricultural involvement: ISA District Advisory Council, ISA research and environmental trials, ISA Research Advisory Council, Dupont Young Leaders

Community involvement: Main Street Corning volunteer

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
Increasing market value and perception while improving sustainability through soil health, input management, and improving water quality.

   

BILL SHIPLEY, NODAWAY Incumbent

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, hay, and hogs

Education: Associate degree in ag business

Agricultural involvement: ISA past president, Iowa Corn Growers Association member, Adams County Conservation board, Adams County Soil and Water commissioner, 2016 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award

Community involvement: FFA Alumni, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church board secretary

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The Iowa Soybean Association is working hard to find new markets for soy and the byproducts. Politics play a huge role in foreign markets right now. Building markets right now within the present political climate is tough. New products and pests for soybeans are always appearing, we need to be diligent to address these issues. We cannot forget communications as we are constantly under attack. We must keep the public informed and assured that farmers are raising our products sustainably. These are all things that the ISA board works on.

MIKE ELLIS, LINEVILLE

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, hay, silage, rye and cattle

Education: Associate degree in agricultural business, Des Moines Area Community College

Agricultural involvement: Farm Service Agency board, Iowa Simmental Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association member, Farm Bureau member

Community involvement: Fire department, Moore/Gosch Park committee, Grand River Township Board of Trustees

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
I feel as though the markets are a huge issue with soybean producers today. We need to keep in touch with global demand and spend time promoting U.S. soybeans and soy products!

   

RANDY MILLER, LACONA Incumbent

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, hay, cow-calf, custom feed weaner pigs

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural studies with minor in extension, Iowa State University

Agricultural involvement: Current ISA board member, executive committee, served on all four committees and currently Information and Education Committee chair; member of local coop board and previously served as president; Warren County Pork Producers treasurer; Warren County Fair Board member

Community involvement: 4-H County Council leaders, Indianola First Assembly of God Elder Board treasurer, Southeast Warren FFA alumni vice president

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
The biggest issue facing soybean farmers is the demand for soybeans and consumer acceptance of the technologies we use. ISA has to work both in our state and worldwide with our national organizations to develop new markets and uses for soybeans as well as strengthening those markets we have already developed. The public — nationally and internationally — needs to understand how technology enables us to grow food safely and efficiently. Additionally, we need to communicate that when it comes to the environment, we know we have to protect it. We are growing our products in the environment and we have to manage and protect it.

WARREN BACHMAN, OSCEOLA Incumbent

Operation description: Soybeans, corn, trucking and custom harvesting

Education: High school graduate

Agricultural involvement: ISA Board member 2016-2019; Soy Transportation Coalition member 2017-2019; Clarke County Farm Bureau member, former board member and former vice president; U.S. Custom Harvesters

Community involvement: Clarke County Old Iron past president and board member, Lacelle Methodist Church member

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
There are several. Profitability, consumer education, regulations, conservation and transportation are all important issues. Consumer perception of farming is a big one. As a board member, I will continue to educate the public about problems farmers are facing and what we are doing to protect the environment. The last thing we want is to lose our soil. It’s our livelihood.

JEROD FLAHERTY, OSCEOLA

Operation description: Soybeans, corn and a cow-calf operation

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business management, York College

Agricultural involvement: Clarke County Cattlemen member

Community involvement: Member of the Osceola Church of Christ

What’s the biggest issue facing soybean farmers and how can the ISA board help address it?
U.S. farmers are now operating in a new global reality as a result of the ongoing trade war with China and the board should support efforts to develop new and emerging markets for U.S. soy — but that takes time. One of the most important things the board can do right now is to help farmers understand what price levels might be in the future to help them adjust their businesses accordingly and find new ways to be profitable. The board should also help raise the voices of Iowa soybean farmers — we need free and fair trade without interference from outside entities.

For media inquiries, please contact Katie Johnson, ISA Public Relations Manager at kjohnson@iasoybeans.com or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at aputze@iasoybeans.com

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