MANKATO, Minn. — Patrick O’Leary, who helps oversee Minnesota’s soybean checkoff investments, will now help direct the nation’s soybean checkoff.
In a long-awaited announcement, the USDA confirmed the appointment of O’Leary and eight U.S. soybean farmers to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB) and reappointed eight directors for an additional term. Farmer-leaders will serve a three-year term. O’Leary replaces Council Director Rochelle Krusemark on the board.
“With different uses of soy continuing to grow, this is an exciting time to be a USB farmer-leader. I look forward to working with these passionate individuals who will bring additional perspectives and insights, expanding our group of creative and innovative thinkers,” USB Chair Ralph Lott said. “The reappointed leaders bring back valuable experience, having worked through our Value Creation Framework process determining future checkoff investments. Together, we will move U.S. Soy forward and bring value back to the farm gate of all U.S. soybean farmers.”
O’Leary is a current director with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and served as chair from 2017-2019. He’s also chairs the Northern Soy Marketing group. He is fourth-generation farmer from Benson, Minnesota, and farms with his two brothers and father. O’Leary grows corn and soybeans and his family contract grows hogs. In addition to the work on their farm, the O’Learys also sell seed and have a custom farming business.
“Seeing farming progress and growing the market for soybeans are why I’m involved,” O’Leary said in 2017.
U.S. soybean farmers receive an estimated $12.34 in value for every dollar they invested in the checkoff. Those investments continue to fund programs that build preference for U.S. soybeans across the country and around the world. Authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, the checkoff is composed of 78 members representing 29 states, in addition to the Eastern and Western regions. The number of seats on the board is determined based on bushels produced in their region. Members must be soybean farmers nominated by a Qualified State Soybean Board.
“This group of farmer-leaders represents a variety of operations and unique points of view across the many growing regions of our country,” said Meagan Kaiser, USB Vice Chair and farmer from Missouri. “We all share a common goal to maximize the profit opportunities for every U.S. soybean farmer, and I’m eager to work together to strengthen our collective future.”
Newly appointed farmer-leaders include:
- Arkansas – Robert Petter, De Valls Bluff
- Georgia – Jesse Patrick, Madison City
- Indiana – Jim Douglas, Flat Rock
- Minnesota – Patrick O’Leary, Benson
- Missouri – Robert Alpers, Prairie Home
- North Dakota – Cindy Pulskamp, Hillsboro
- South Dakota – Tim Ostrem, Centerville
- Virginia – Shannon Tignor Ellis, Champlain
- Wisconsin – Nancy Kavazanjian, Beaver Dam (one-year term)
Reappointed farmer-leaders include:
- Illinois – Lynn Rohrscheib, Fairmount
- Iowa – April Hemmes, Hampton
- Kentucky – Brent Gatton, Bremen
- Louisiana – Garrett Marsh, Tallulah
- Nebraska – Tony Johanson, Oakland
- North Carolina – Benjamin Derek Potter, Grantsboro
- Ohio – Jeff Magyar, Orwell
- Pennsylvania – Andrew Fabin, Homer City
Newly appointed alternate(s) are:
- Georgia – Mark Ariail, Carnesville
- New Jersey – Fred R. Catalano, Woodstown (one-year term)
- South Carolina – Charlie Whiten, Westminster (two-year term)
- Eastern Region – Mark H. Kable, Charles Town, West Virginia (one-year term)
— Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council