U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently re-appointed Indiana farmer Mark Seib to the United Soybean Board. Seib will be sworn in with 16 other directors this December at USB’s annual meeting in St. Louis.
“As an Indiana farmer serving on USB, I look for opportunities for the national and state checkoff organizations to partner to maximize farmers’ checkoff funds,” said Seib of Poseyville, Ind. “I want to utilize every penny to the best of our ability to get the biggest bang for the buck for all soybean farmers.”
The board now includes five new appointees and 12 returning directors. This reflects the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s choice to increase its number of farmer-leaders from 70 to 73 to reflect growing U.S. soybean production. In addition to Seib, three other soybean farmers represent Indiana on the board, including Mike Beard of Frankfort, Ind., Jim Cherry of Greenfield, Ind. and Kevin Wilson of Walton, Ind.
This is Seib’s second three-year term as a USB farmer-director. He currently serves as the vice-chairman of USB’s audit evaluation committee and is a member of the Customer Focus Committee. Seib is a former Indiana Soybean Alliance farmer-director where he served as president and vice-president during his time on the state checkoff board.
“Developing new markets and crop research is at the root of USB’s work. Currently, one area of focus is strengthening the market for high oleic soybeans that were developed through USB-funded research,” Seib said. “From paint to foam seats for automobiles to insulation and livestock feed, USB looks for the best ways to generate soybean usage to develop strong markets that benefit farmers.”
The farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.