Farmers running for District 7

2024 Director Elections: District 7 candidates

May 31, 2024

Lee Brooke, Clarinda (Incumbent) 

Lee Brooke and his wife Darla grow soybeans, corn and hay. With their son, they also have a cow-calf herd and raise pigs. They have been avid no-tillers for 30 years and started using cover crops in the last 6-7 years. 

Brooke attended Iowa State University for farm operations. 

He serves as a director for the Iowa Soybean Association. He has held leadership positions with Southwest Regional Rural Water District, a local cooperative, church, cattlemen’s board, and has served as a representative on the Land O’Lakes Executive Council. 

Why are you interested in serving on the ISA board? 

During the past three years serving on the ISA board, I have learned that one-on-one conversations with purchasers around the world are very important to continue to sell our products. I would like to continue representing soybean farmers, promoting our products and developing new and expanded markets and uses  of soy. 

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

Crop profitability. The Iowa Soybean Association research team is always looking for ways to help  farmers, not just soy farmers, be more profitable. 

Alan Zellmer, Atlantic 

Alan Zellmer grows soybeans and corn near Atlantic in Cass County. Along with crops, he and his wife work with two of their sons to operate a feedlot and cow-calf operation.  

He has served as the past president of the Cass County Agricultural Education Association. He has also been involved in the community by maintaining the Cass County Fairgrounds. 

Why are you interested in serving on the ISA board? 

We need to have a voice on boards that represent our industry if we want to head in the direction that’s favorable to the producers. 

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

There are many, but one challenge is the labor shortage in Iowa. With fewer people growing up on farms, it’s important that ISA develop or participate in a mentorship program to allow high school students to see the reality of farming. Also, the soybean industry is on the cutting edge of opportunities like sustainable aviation fuel. We need to make sure farmers are in the position to take advantage of the growing demand and potential excess feedstocks.