The fab five: MSR&PC announces election results

After nearly 3,700 Minnesota farmers received ballots, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council  (MSR&PC) has finalized its 2022 election results. A total of five seats were up for election this season, and all five directors running have earned another term overseeing soybean checkoff resources on the Council.   

Chair Joe Serbus (District 5 & 6) and Vice Chair/Election Chair Tom Frisch (District 4), along with Treasurer Gail Donkers (District 8), and Gene Stoel (District 7), respectively, were all reelected by their farming peers.  Glen Groth, who has been on the Council since 2020, was elected to first full term to represent District 9.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to serve all soybean farmers from the state of Minnesota,” said Serbus, who farms in Bird Island. “I am a proud advocate of agriculture education, along with all types of education to keep our rural areas strong. We continue to be good stewards of the land as we raise a quality soybean product, and it is important that we continue to share our story.”

Frisch farms in Traverse County and will begin his second term as director. Groth farms in Ridgeway and will serve his first full term after he was appointed following Rob Hanks’ Hanks’ death in December 2019.  

“I desire to serve on the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council to understand and guide where my checkoff investment dollars go,” Groth said. 

Council directors serve three-year terms, which begin July 1. 

“By showing up and being the voice of Minnesota’s soybean farmers, I hope to make a difference for not only our farm, but for all the soybean growers in Minnesota,” said Donkers, who farms in Faribault.      

Council Chair Joe Serbus (left) and Vice Chair Tom Frisch (second to right) visit with CEO Tom Slunecka (right) and Secretary Pat Sullivan (second to left) before a board meeting in December 2021.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture administers the election on behalf of the Council. MSR&PC is the 15-seat, elected board of soybean producers from Minnesota who direct checkoff investments toward programs designed to increase the profitability for the state’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers. Later this spring, the Council will be unveiling a statewide “Stepping Up” campaign to promote checkoff investments in soy-based shoes. 
“Directing soybean checkoff funds is very important to investigate the future and try to estimate which investments will bring the most benefit to Minnesota’s soybean farmers,” said Stoel, who farms in Lake Wilson and also sits on the United Soybean Board. “My work with both state, county and national organizations has given me insight into some of those possibilities.” 

The soybean checkoff is federally mandated by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. Every time a Minnesota soybean farmer sells soybeans, one half of 1% of the market price is checked off. Half of the checkoff is utilized by Minnesota, while the other half is directed by the United Soybean Board. Checkoff resources are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans. Spanning more than 30 years, the soybean checkoff has left a deep fiscal footprint on Minnesota’s – and the nation’s – economy by putting money back into farmers’ pockets. For each dollar soybean farmers pay toward checkoff resources, growers receive $12.33 in return value. 

“I see serving on the Council as another way for me to help promote an understanding of an industry and crop that has provided so much for me and my family,” Frisch said.  

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