As the No. 1 soybean state for membership, it came as no surprise Thursday when Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Directors Bob Nelsen and Doug Toreen earned the top recruiter prizes for the American Soybean Association.
Nelsen (pictured above) was named the top recruiter in the nation and Toreen earned second. The pair was honored at the 20th annual Commodity Classic in Phoenix.
“I’m pretty proud we can be No. 1 in recruiting,” Nelsen said. “It’s a real special honor to have the top two recruiters.”
Nelsen said when he helped start the Murray County Corn and Soybean Growers, a longtime MSGA director told him you have to do something on the board that can help.
“I like to talk, and I can recruit, so I knew that was how I would help,” he said. “Some people are good officers, some people are good at other things, for me, I’m good at talking and recruiting.”
Toreen said he was surprised but pleased to finish second. As for passing Nelsen in the future, who has been the top recruiter all but one time in the last decade, Toreen was humble in his answer.
“It’ll never happen,” he said.
Both Nelsen and Toreen said that the number one trick to recruiting is simply asking people to become a member.
“I write a lot of letters,” Nelsen said. “I probably wrote about 500 letters this year. We have more than 4,100 members, but if you look at Minnesota with more than 20,000 soybean farmers, we still have a long ways to go.”