I come to you today as one of 45 Minnesota Soybean Growers Association directors, with a special request. I seek the support of my fellow directors in my run for president of MSGA.
The MSGA board will gather June 18 to plan for the year ahead. It is the time of the year we elect officers and finalize committee structure and chairs. I do encourage other directors interested in stepping up in leadership to submit their intentions here; let’s put the best team forward!
Growing up, I saw the importance of being involved. My grandfather gathered a small fortune raising beef cattle in southern Minnesota. He loved what he did yet had the vision to be involved in the industry beyond the farm gate by serving a term as president of the American Angus Association.
It was a time of transition with many challenges in agriculture and being engaged was important. Unfortunately, my grandfather started farming with a large fortune so my parents ended up farming in central Minnesota. My father also was engaged in shaping the future of agriculture by serving on several boards.
One thing I recall was how he had the courage to discipline a fellow board member who always put his own interest ahead of the board’s.
The past two years I have learned much, expanding my knowledge of the workings of MSGA as treasurer in 2013-14 and vice president now. I find it very rewarding working with some of the top soybean farmers in the state on the board of the largest soybean membership association in the nation.
Because of the size and reach of our organization, working as a team while keeping a focus on the larger goal is a priority. I do expect loyalty to the association by its directors. Often we have extensive discussion at meetings, which is how it should be. When a vote is taken at the conclusion of discussion, that decision will stand as the voice of MSGA and all need to support the outcome of the vote. I do recognize personalities can arise, slowing progress. By making sure everyone is heard (being inclusive) and keeping focus on our mission, we can limit this.
MSGA has a great working relationship with Minnesota Research and Promotion Council. MSR&PC is a great resource in moving the needs of Minnesota soybean farmers forward. I will facilitate however we can on mutual projects and hand off ideas better suited to their mission.
I look forward to the next year no matter how the election turns out because of all the great progress made in the past and how MSGA has positioned itself to prosper into the future. We also have a great staff at our Mankato office. This staff helps to maintain a great network with county groups that many of you are involved in, and carries out the direction that MSGA sets.
It would be a great honor to serve as president of Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.