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Dakota Views on Soybean Checkoff Probe

North Dakotans have different takes on alleged mismanagement.

They're both from North Dakota -- and both support the soybean checkoff - but they have different takes on the America Soybean Association's call for USDA to investigate allegations of checkoff mismanagement.

Rick Ostlie, Northwood, is immediate past chairman of ASA.

When allegations of fiscal mismanagement and unethical conduct surfaced recently, the ASA board had to follow up.

Asking the USDA Office of Inspector General to investigate the allegations was one of the best ways to get to the truth, he says

"I want to see that the checkoff is run as ethically and responsibly as possible."

Vanessa Kummer, Colfax, is a USB director and was just appointed to the executive board. She says that USB has always operated with USDA oversight. Its books are open and ASA has been well represented on USB committees.

"I don't see anything that is going to surprise anybody."

In fact, a close look should impress inspectors, she says. Exports are at record levels and significant progress has been made on soybean research.

"There are a lot of good things going on."

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