minnesota soybean growers association

MSGA President’s Perspective: New Leadership, New Beginnings

In June, MSGA and MSR&PC held elections to determine the best leadership for their boards. Count the “est” endings as I talk about the beginnings of some new roles of leadership at Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

The election was governance at its finest with about a third of the directors nominated for positions. There was a tie at one point so we voted again; if that happens next year the person who signed up more members will win because “membership counts.”

I was shown the support to move up to president. Facilitating efforts of eight action teams while keeping a focus on major goals will be a priority. Being a strong voice for Minnesota soybean farmers is important! I recognize I am speaking not only for my members but for the rest who are not yet members. So if you are not a member please join us, we are on the move.

Even more support was shown for Theresia Gillie moving from secretary to vice president. Everyone sees her as one of the hardest working directors on the association. With the role of vice president, Theresia will assume the duty of Advocacy action team chair. I have enjoyed the dialog of our advocacy blog and look forward to fresh perspectives.

In a tight race for treasurer, Mike Skaug edged out the competition. His thoughtfulness and attention to detail makes him a good fit. Mike participated in the Syngenta Leadership at its Best program a few years ago, and I hope the program continues.

Dana Blume captured the secretary position. He is a past ASA DuPont Young Leader graduate. I’m pleased to see young leaders move up in the organization. With committee assignments, Dana will chair the Membership action team. His vice chair is George Goblish, so between the two and the rest of the team we should keep Minnesota at the top for membership.

Last but not least, Bill Gordon will continue his position as ASA director. Bill is a very dedicated director who testified to congress in May and recently is a committee member on ASA structure planning.

We have a great executive team in place for MSGA. We will continue to work on behalf of Minnesota soybean farmers to protect them from unnecessary legislation, and we will continue to grow our relationship with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and all our industry partners.

I look forward to the year ahead and as always, welcome ideas on how we can make MSGA even more successful.

Agri-Growth PAC Dinner

Thursday, Roberta and I participated in an Agri-growth Mississippi River dinner cruise for their Political Action Committee (PAC) fund. As we boarded, I noticed an Aggregate Industries barge being used (one of the businesses cut off from the river in Minneapolis with the lock closure).

It was a beautiful night on the river. We had time for some education provided by Lee Nelson of Upper River Services and like MSGA, a member of Waterways Council Incorporated and Upper Mississippi Waterway Association. The latter group I serve as president.

There was also time to socialize with fellow Ag industry leaders.Conversations focused around a farm level input supplier and their curiosity about offering third party services between farmers and NRCS or Soil and Water Districts. A processor noted growers in his segments have made exceptional improvements, so he is looking at ways to promote his superior product. I also discussed my optimism for this year’s soybean crop.