The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) recently welcomed a new face to the Council, Ben Storm. The father of soon-to-be-four raises soybeans and show pigs with his wife in Dover, Minn., and will serve as the District 9 representative.
When asked to run, Storm happily took the plunge.
“I got to know the people and the work of Minnesota Soybean pretty well when I went on a ‘See for Yourself’ mission to Vietnam,” he says. “Thanks to that opportunity, there were a few people that thought I would be a good fit for the Council; and with their encouragement, I decided to run.”
With his father as a role model, Storm looks at his involvement with MSR&PC as a calling. He’s been going to corn and soybean meetings, and has been on his county’s board since 2011 and currently serves as chairman. When asked why he farms, Storm points to his passion for agriculture.
“It’s in my blood,” he says. “It’s all I ever wanted to do. When I graduated, I worked in agronomy sales and precision ag, and all I could ever think about was when could I get on the farm full-time and be my own boss?”
Since being elected, Storm has been looking forward to taking a deeper dive into learning more about checkoff investments and being a voice for Minnesota farmers. He views the checkoff as a success for Minnesota.
In Minnesota, soybean checkoff dollars can only be used for research, market development and education.
Storm has a special interest in production and conservation. In fact, his farm is Minnesota Ag Water Quality certified through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
“We’ve been certified for five years,” Storm says. “Being certified not only is really good for the soil, it also sets our farm up for the future. I want my children to be able to farm if they choose to when they grow up. So, the soil we farm on is the most valuable resource we have.”
Storm mentions the recent push for 20 percent biodiesel (B20) as a big triumph for Minnesota farmers and the checkoff. The new blend requirement brings increased demand for farmers’ soybeans, along with the environmental benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels.
“After all is said and done, I’m excited to get started.” Storm says. “The Council provides a great learning opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by.”