March 6, 2017
The Ohio Soybean Association has named Kirk Merritt its executive director for the grassroots policy and member-driven organization beginning March 6. Merritt currently serves as the executive director of the Ohio Soybean Council, which manages soybean checkoff dollars and will continue in that role.
The announcement follows the departure of Adam Ward, who had served as OSA executive director and OSC director of marketing and outreach since 2010. Ward left the organizations to pursue an opportunity at Ohio State University as the government affairs director for the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
“Agriculture is an extremely exciting industry to be in right now,” says Merritt. “Technology is advancing and being adopted at a rapid rate. U.S. and international consumer demographics are changing. Legislative priorities and policies are in flux. I am looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to get started. My first goal for OSA is to continue the good work that was done over the past several years and build on that for the future.”
Merritt joined OSC in June 2007 as international marketing director and director of outreach and programs for the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation. In 2009, he was promoted to executive director of both organizations. He has worked closely with the OSC board of trustees to advance OSC’s mission of enhancing profit opportunities for Ohio soybean farmers. Prior to the Ohio soybean organizations, Merritt was the director of the international trade division in the Ohio Department of Development, leading a team with offices in Ohio and eleven international markets. Kirk holds a bachelor’s degree from Manchester University and a master’s from OSU.
“We want to thank Adam for his dedication to our organization and his help in raising our level of recognition at the Statehouse and Washington, D.C,” says Todd Hesterman, OSA president and a Henry County soybean farmer. “We look forward to working with him in his new role. To build on the progress made, we believe there is no better candidate than Kirk who has already been working with OSA and has done great work for OSC.”
In addition to the change at the executive level, OSA and OSC are expected to announce and begin accepting applications for an additional staff position soon.
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