Dumont farmer reelected chair of MN Soybean Research & Promotion Council 

Brand new digs, but the same top-notch leadership team. The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) reelected Traverse County farmer Tom Frisch as its chair during its June board meeting, the first held in its newly renovated space off Highway 14.  

Frisch, who is also one of four Minnesota farmers serving on the United Soybean Board, is eager to continue directing soy checkoff investments in his second term as chair. In May, the Council launched “Behind the Dollar,” a campaign showing how the soy checkoff continues improving farmer profitability through agronomic research, developing new markets and creating value-added uses.  

“It’s an honor to be reelected,” said Frisch, who replaced Director Joe Serbus as chair in 2023. “It’s been a very educational first year on the Council as chair and I look forward to one more year working with a great group of individuals.”  

Frisch, who was first elected to MSR&PC in 2019, is a fourth-generation farmer and partner in the farming operation alongside his father, two first cousins and his cousin’s son. The family raises soybeans, corn, sunflowers and grapes in Dumont. In addition to working with the family farming operation, Frisch started his own crop consulting business after graduating from North Dakota State University in 2000 with a degree in agriculture economics. Frisch also works part-time for the local cooperative selling seed to area producers and is a longtime volunteer firefighter. Tom and his wife, Dr. Jane Vangsness Frisch, live two miles north of the original Felix Frisch and Son homestead.  

Rice County farmer Gail Donkers was also reelected as MSR&PC vice chair. Donkers has a multi-generational farm near Faribault raising corn, soybeans, alfalfa, dairy steers, finishing hogs and sheep. 

I look forward to doing the most that I possibly can to make their soybean dollars go further on their farms,” said Donkers, who also joined the Council in 2019. “We’re trying to get out there to sell our soybeans to honor the good quality of soybeans that are grown in Minnesota and to let nations know that and to get our voice heard that Minnesota has high-quality soybeans, and we want to get a good price for our farmers.” 

The Council reelected Ben Storm as treasurer, while longtime director Pat Sullivan will again serve as secretary. Council directors serve three-year terms, which begin July 1. The Council is charged with directing state soybean checkoff resources toward research, establishing markets and developing value-added uses for soy.  

Earlier in the meeting, the Council also honored retiring Beaver Creek farmer Jim Willers and Kris Folland, who are stepping off the board in July. Willers served 21 years on the Council, while Folland of Kittson County directed checkoff funds for nine years.  

About the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council  

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is a 15-person, farmer-led board that oversees the investment of checkoff dollars on behalf of the state’s nearly 26,000 soybean farmers. The Council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program requiring all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. This money is used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans. 

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