Farmers Marilee Jones and Sam Showalter

Marilee Jones and Sam Showalter (Photo: Iowa Soybean Association)

Director Elections: District 2 candidates

June 1, 2023

Marilee Jones | Sheffield, Iowa

Marilee Jones grows soybeans and corn and raises cattle, poultry, goats and pigs. Marilee, her husband Greg and their sons also custom farm for area farmers.

Jones attended North Iowa Area Community College and Hawkeye Community College and studied accounting and business. She’s held several volunteer positions locally as a 4-H leader and on school committees at West Fork. She's a member of the Sheffield Philharmonic Club and a board member at Rockwell United Methodist Church. Marilee is currently on the Cerro Gordo Planning and Zoning Commission where she previously served as chairman and vice chair. She was involved in the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Experience Class and is currently involved in ISA’s Iowa-Missouri Policy Leaders Fellowship.

Why are you interested in serving on the ISA board?

My experience with ISA opportunities has ignited an interest in serving. Even with the busy times on the farm, I have the flexibility to commit to this role.

What's the biggest issue facing Iowa soybean farmers right now, and how can the board address it?

Market volatility can impact an operation greatly. Being able to capitalize on new markets and exploring new growing practices will help farmers address their ROI when some things are out of our control. Knowing we have a unified voice and goal for the farmers is key; keeping the concerns of the farmers heard in legislative forums is pertinent. With current tensions in some countries, it is global chaos. Sometimes the smaller one-on-one contacts can help open another door for trade with so many doors being unpredictable at this time.

Sam Showalter | Hampton, Iowa

Sam Showalter grows soybeans and corn and custom feeds hogs with his wife Laura, dad, brother and cousin.

Showalter graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s in agriculture. He is president of the Franklin County Soil and Water Commission and served on the Franklin County Fair Board. He has been involved with Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) Policy Leaders Fellowship, Experience Class and served as a voting delegate. He helped form the ISA/ Iowa Corn Growers association (ICGA) Collaborative District 2 Young Farmers Group. He is also an Iowa Farm Bureau member and volunteers with his church and coaches middle school wrestling.

Why are you interested in serving on the ISA board?

My interest started in 2016 when I participated in the United Soybean Board’s “See for Yourself” program. The program opened my eyes to how checkoff dollars are spent to promote soybeans domestically and abroad. I like to surround myself with outside-the-box thinking people, with a long-term vision in place. I have seen a lot of these characteristics within the ISA board and staff and would love to contribute to its successful track record in serving Iowa Soybean Farmers.

What's the biggest issue facing Iowa soybean farmers right now, and how can the board address it?

Demand for our product. If there is no demand for our soybeans, there is no profitability for the farmer. We need to continue to find new customers abroad and show that we have a high quality, reliable and sustainably raised product.