Your voting guide for the ISA Board of Director elections
July 1, 2020
From the President
Fellow soybean farmers:
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 in July.
ISA directors are elected by soybean producers in the various crop districts. All crop districts have two directors. Once elected, a director serves for three years. He/she can serve no more than three, 3-year terms.
Featured in this voter guide are biographies on each of the candidates. I extend a sincere “thank you” to all of them for their willingness to volunteer, step up and lead. No matter the results, running shows their willingness to be involved, which is critically important to the success of ISA.
I encourage you to take this opportunity to participate in the election process. You should have received your ballots and additional instructions in the mail by now — please follow those instructions carefully to ensure your vote is counted.
I strongly encourage you all to vote and to get to know your board members once they take office in September to ensure your voice is heard on important issues.
Rippey soybean farmer
Watch for ballots and instructions in the mail now. To qualify, all ballots must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2020.
Farmer leaders will be elected to serve as directors in districts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9. Two At-Large director positions will also be filled through this process.
If you live in district 1, 2, 4, 5, or 9: You will be electing one ISA director in your crop district as well as two directors for the At-Large positions.
If you live in district 3, 6, 7 or 8: You will be electing two directors for the two At-Large positions.
Questions? We're here to help. Contact your Producer Services team here.
You will find the candidate photos followed by their respective biographies below. All candidate biographies were written by ISA staff and approved by the candidate. Note: The candidate whose photo appears left will have their biography listed first and the candidate whose photo appears right will have their biography listed second.
Lindsay Greiner farms near Keota in Washington County and serves as an At-Large director. He grows soybeans and corn and raises hogs with his son. Farming for 42 years, Greiner implements buffer strips, grass waterways, terraces and practices no-till.
Greiner is a past president of the Iowa Soybean Association, leading the association in 2018. He traveled to several countries representing U.S. soy, including Vietnam, Philippines, China, Japan, Italy, and Egypt. He is also a director for the United Soybean Board.
At home, Lindsay is active in the community, holding positions on local boards and served as school board president and on his parish council.
“I have served on the ISA board for six years and I would like to continue to serve the farmers of Iowa for another term. There are many challenges facing soybean farmers today and I would like to be a part of working on overcoming some of these challenges,” said Greiner. “There is no shortage of issues to deal with in farming today. I think trade is number one, we need to continue work on expanding new markets here in the U.S. and around the world. I’m also passionate about bringing young people into farm operations to continue farming legacies and getting involved in their own leadership journeys.”
Kris Langgaard farms near Guthrie Center in Guthrie County. He raises soybeans, corn and alfalfa, as well as beef cattle and goats. He graduated from Simpson College with a bachelor’s degree in physics.
Langgaard has been involved with the Iowa Soybean Association’s District Advisory Council and the 2019 ISA Experience class. He’s also been involved with the area Lions Club, serving as second vice president, and as a trustee for the Guthrie Center First United Methodist Church.
“As a member of a top-producing soybean producing state, I want to help facilitate the discussion and expand the soybean market in Iowa, the United States and around the world. I also want to advocate for precision farming practices,” said Langgaard. “Some of the biggest issues facing Iowa soybean farmers include market opportunities and new product development. Trade visits to new and existing markets is important to continue learning about strengthened potential for soy-based products.
Steph Essick farms near Dickens in Clay County and serves as an At-Large director for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Essick is a fourth-generation farmer and works with her father, growing soybeans and corn. She earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University.
Essick has been on the ISA board since 2014 and served as a member of the executive committee. She was recently elected to represent Iowa on the American Soybean Association board. In addition, she is an active volunteer with CommonGround Iowa program which is a national movement of farm women who share information about farming and food.
“Being on the ISA board of directors allows me to represent Iowa’s soybean farmers here at home and across the nation. We are focused on the profitability of the Iowa soybean farmer and address issues by working with lawmakers to promote the industry, from improving our infrastructure to advocating for biofuels,” said Essick. “There are currently many other issues of concern, too: profitability, regulations, and consumer perception. The ISA board must continue developing and building demand and relationships. ISA needs to look at new uses for soybeans, as well as expanding markets in other countries.”
Kevin Krumwiede farms near Ledyard in Kossuth County with his brother-in-law, raising soybeans and corn. Krumwiede has been involved in his community as a church elder.
He’s been active in a number of agricultural organizations. He’s served in several leadership positions with the Kossuth County Farm Bureau, including president. Krumwiede has also been involved with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) Ag Leaders Institute and served as an IFBF voting delegate to represent Iowa at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting.
Krumwiede is a member of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) District Advisory Council and completed the ISA Experience Class.
“After taking the Experience class and learning more about all that ISA is involved in, I felt the need to get more information and get involved myself,” said Krumwiede. “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. No farming = no ISA.”
Chuck White farms near Spencer in Clay County and serves as a District 1 director for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). He raises soybeans and corn with his brother and son. Farming for 40 years and managing his own operation for 20 years, White uses precision planting, grid sampling and has strip-tilled corn and no-tilled soybeans for 18 years. He also uses cover crops and participates in on-farm research trials to balance productivity and profitability.
He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science degree in science in 1979 and a master’s degree in agriculture in 1986. He’s been involved in several aspects of the soybean industry including the U.S. Soy Aquaculture Alliance, ISA Research and Iowa Soybean Research Center advisory councils, ISA Communications Squad, ISA District Advisory Council and has traveled to Europe and China representing Iowa soybean farmers. White is also involved with the Iowa Corn Growers, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Farm Bureau. He’s involved in his community including serving on the Clay County Fair board, Kiwanis Daybreakers and Tiger Mentoring.
“Farm profitability is a concern for Iowa farmers. ISA has a very active role in improving demand for Iowa soybeans through market development. The ISA Research Center for Farming Innovation provides needed research to keep farmers producing the highest-yielding soybeans,” said White. “The ISA board works diligently to be sure we get the best return on our soybean checkoff.”
Kipp Fehr started farming near Mallard in Palo Alto County at 16 years old, when he first rented some land. He farms along the Des Moines River and uses strip till methods with his row crops and has also used cover crops.
Fehr attended Iowa Lakes Community College for ag buisness. He has been active with the Palo Alto County Farm Bureau board of directors, serving as vice president, president and voting delegate. He was a finalist for the 2018 Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer Achievement Award. Fehr is also a member of the Iowa Corn Growers’ Association.
“I’m interested in serving on the ISA board to have the ability to help shape policy that affects soybean farmers,” said Fehr. “Trade and demand for soybeans are two issues facing soybean farmers today. The ISA board can help promote trade with other countries, as well as support research to find more uses domestically for our soybeans.
Casey Schlichting farms near Clear Lake in Cerro Gordo County and serves as a District 2 director for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Schlichting farms with his father, uncle, wife, and two children, growing soybeans and corn and has been farming for 20 years. The family enrolls land in the Conservation Reserve Program with plans to implement strip tillage and buffer strips.
Schlichting attended Waldorf University and has been involved with the soybean industry including selection into the American Soybean Association (ASA)/Corteva Young Leaders Program. He’s been involved with the Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer and Rancher committee. He serves on the Five Star COOP board and volunteers with the Mason City YMCA.
“Being involved with the ASA Young leader program opened my eyes to all the soy family had to offer and through that process I got to work with the ISA board,” said Schlichting. “The biggest issue facing today’s soybean farmer is the collapsing farm economy due to COVID-19 issues. We feed a majority of our beans to a disappearing meat market. Our board and its members collectively work to seek and apply information from everyone and work to solve problems. This is one of the main reasons I have enjoyed being on this board.”
Reed Burres farms near Humboldt in Humboldt County. He’s a third-generation farmer and farms alongside his father. They raise soybeans, corn, and sweetcorn. In addition to farming, he co-owns and operates AgriPeril Insurance and Risk Management.
He graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in agricultural business and international agriculture. Burres completed his master’s degree in international agriculture from Oklahoma State University. He also hosted an Indonesian trade team to his farm in 2018.
Burres has been involved with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), including the District Advisory Council, ISA Experience and the ISA policy advisory council. He was ISA’s representative in the 2018-19 American Soybean Association/Corteva Young Leader Program. Burres was awarded the ISA New Leader Award in 2019. He is also a member of the Humboldt County Iowa Corn Growers’ Association.
“My experiences with ISA members have provided me opportunities to not only grow as a farmer, but as a person as well. I’m interested in serving on the board to give more young farmers an experience similar to mine and help the future of agriculture grow,” said Burres. “As many of us have seen firsthand, the hurdles that the Iowa soybean farmer have faced over the past few years have been plentiful. I feel that the most significant obstacle stems from a shortage of demand. We must continue to expand markets and uses for soybeans. The ISA board can address this concern by continuing to seek out alternative and growing global and domestic markets.”
Jeff Frank farms near Auburn in Sac County and serves as a District 4 director for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). He grows soybeans and corn with his wife and youngest son and has been farming for more than 40 years. Frank uses grid sampling, soil mapping and variable rate inputs on his land to achieve highest yields for the lowest inputs each year. He has added a pollinator habitat, waterway and multiple buffer strips.
Frank has been involved with the ISA as a District Advisory Council member, ISA Experience class member and participated in the American Soybean Association’s Soy Leadership College and Leadership Academy programs. He has also been involved with the Sac County Farm Bureau and served as a local Farm Service Agency president for nine years. He also serves as an elder for his church.
“After serving on the ISA board, I feel the work being done is to help make all Iowa farmers the best and most profitable they can be,” said Frank. “I think trade is always one of the most important issues for soybean farmers. We need to work to have less reliance on China as a trading partner and continue to develop more uses for soybeans here at home.”
Ethan Nielsen farms near Avoca with his father. They farm 1,000 acres of soybeans and corn and 40 acres of winter wheat. He also finishes 4,000 hogs annually in a wean-to-finish operation. Nielsen started Nielsen Farms Trucking LLC in 2019, a grain/fertilizer feed commodity trucking company serving southwest and west central Iowa.
Nielsen graduated from Iowa State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural systems technology. He’s been involved with membership with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), Shelby County Farm Bureau, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. He’s also involved with on-farm research projects with ISA and Pioneer.
Nielsen is interested in ISA leadership to further network with fellow growers and learn better ways of achieving stronger yield goals and profitability. “The biggest issue facing Iowa’s growers is sustainability. The ISA board of directors can address this by further investigating new and open markets, as well as supporting research in better genetics, traits, herbicides and fertilizers,” said Nielsen.
Morey Hill farms near Madrid in Story County and serves as an Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) District 5 director. He farms with his wife, growing soybeans and corn. The third-generation farmer has been farming since the 1980s and began farming full-time in 2005. Hill also raises a small ewe flock and layer hens.
Hill graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. He’s been involved in several aspects of the soybean industry including the ISA District Advisory Council, biodiesel advocacy team, finance committee and World Initiative for Soy in Human Health and serves as a director for the American Soybean Association. Hill has also served as a director for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and has been involved with the Farm Bureau policy and legislative committee and served on the Boone County Farm Bureau board. He’s also involved with the Iowa Veterans in Agriculture and is a life member of the American Legion in Slater.
“As an incumbent, my interest is to keep pushing for new soybean markets and customers. ISA is critical to identifying, promoting, communicating, and maintaining buyers and customers. I want to continue being a part of that effort,” said Hill. “Profitability is the biggest issue facing farmers. If we can’t make a living, we are all sunk. The ISA board is aware and anxious to help. With ISA’s efforts in policy and the power of the checkoff, ISA can be a leader to facilitate meaningful change. ISA can use the research to help lower farmer costs, lobby for strong policy and create and support value-added products. The board must be fully engaged on the matter of profitability.”
Pat Murken farms near Story City in Story County. He farms with his wife, raising soybeans, corn, oats, and hay. He also worked at John Deere Des Moines Works for 40 years where he currently serves as a tour guide. Murken has a technical degree from Des Moines Area Community College, bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and has invested in master’s degree studies in industrial engineering from Iowa State University. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps, helping farmers in the Philippines raise soybeans on former sugarcane fields.
Murken has been involved with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) District Advisory Council, ISA Experience, ISA Communications Squad and the American Soybean Association’s Soy Leadership Academy. He’s a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa and Key Cooperative. He’s also been involved with the Story City Park and Recreation board, St. Petri Church and is Treasurer of “Loaves and Fishes,” a food pantry in Story City, that’s seen an increase in need and usage during the COVID-19 situation.
“I’m involved with the ISA Communications Squad and really enjoy it. I’ve represented ISA at the Iowa State Fair and was part of a group of farmers who spoke with an international media crew,” said Murken. “Serving on the ISA board interests me for two reasons: I want to represent small, practical farmers in Iowa who don’t have modern equipment, but still manage to raise soybeans to help feed the world. I want to represent farmers who work 8 hours a day off the farm and farm at night. This is an extremely dedicated group of farmers who exist and work diligently and who are sometimes overlooked."
Tom Adam farms near Harper in Keokuk County and serves as an Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) District 9 director. He farms with his wife and oldest son, growing soybeans, corn, wheat, oats, hay and finishes beef cattle. He’s farmed for 37 years and has implemented waterways, terraces, cover crops and no-till practices on his farm. He also has land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. On his Heritage Farm, he practices alternative crop rotations by growing hay and wheat following corn and soybean crops.
Adam has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa. He’s been involved with several aspects of the soy industry, including the U.S. Soy Aquaculture Alliance board, American Soybean Association Leadership College, and ISA Soybean Research Advisory Council. Adam also serves as a Township trustee in his county and serves on his church’s cemetery board.
“I like that ISA focuses on all aspects of soybean production, from demand growth and research to conservation and government policy. I feel my education and experience have prepared me to contribute and guide ISA through these lean times. I consider it an honor to represent Iowa soybean farmers,” said Adam. “Oversupply will continue to be a primary concern for farmers. To resolve this, we must: 1. Continue to foster the domestic livestock and biodiesel industries. 2. Maintain our competitive edge to South America with regards to infrastructure. 3. Continue to look to emerging foreign markets to build strong, long-term demand relationships.”
Robert C. Crane farms near Washington in Washington County and owns and operates farms in five additional counties. He raises soybeans, corn, alfalfa and mixed hay. He graduated with an agricultural business degree from Iowa State University and completed some graduate work at Drake University.
Crane is active in land management in the state and has been a professional farm manager and appraiser for more than 50 years. He has been an active participant and leader with the Iowa Association of Realtors, serving as chair of the land values committee. He’s also been involved with the National Farm and Land Institute-Iowa Chapter, Iowa City Board of Realtors, and the American and Iowa Societies of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers.
“I’m interested in serving on the Iowa Soybean Association board of directors because we need to continue to offer the best presentation of our product,” said Crane. “Farmers are so good at farming; we sometimes don’t express the importance of our efforts and our product. I’m concerned about commodity prices and we need to work on serious trade possibilities, other than China. Once those outlets are strengthened and grown, that demand will equate to better prices.”