The joint organization for soybean farmers in Indiana, the Indiana Soybean Alliance, now has a new person a the helm. Doug Morrow, a Grant County farmer, was elected president of ISA recently. It's a key position because Morrow and the ISA Board of Directors are charged with investing Indiana's soybean checkoff funds.
The soybean checkoff is part of a national program. ISA concentrates on projects that are designed to help Indiana soybean growers prosper in one way or another. Some are long-term, and involve attempting to develop new markets. Others involve helping further develop technologies that are already taking off, such as soy biodiesel, an alternative to 100% petroleum diesel fuel. ISA funding helps support projects at Purdue University and elsewhere geared toward answering questions or removing stumbling blocks to even greater use of soybeans and soybean products.
Officers elected to serve with Morrow as ISA's lay leadership during the upcoming year include Lynn Teel, Chalmers, vice-president; Linda Bacon, Milroy, secretary; and Mike Yoder, Middlebury, treasurer. Elections were also held for board members to ISA's executive committee. Board members elected include Mike Beard, Frankfort: Fayte Brewer, Lafayette; and Trevor Glcik, Columbus.
These newly elected board members will each be in charge of specific responsibilities in 2008. Beard will head up the Demand Committee, while Brewer will lead the Membership and Industry Relations Committee. Glick is charged with chairing the Supply Committee.
ISA is only 18 months old, formed in 2006 through a merger of the Indiana Soybean Board, which oversaw use of checkoff funds, and the Indiana Soybean Grower's Association. That group served as Indiana's membership and policy organization. Under federal laws, an Alliance can't use checkoff funds to support policy activities. However, ISA can be involved in those activities if funds for them come from membership dues and other contributions. Teel will also serve as chairman of the ISA Policy Committee for 2008.
According to ISA statistics, there are 28,000 soybean farmers in Indiana. These farmers contribute check-off dollars through sales of soybeans at market. There are 900 dues-paying members in ISA. Those are the folks ISA directors can choose to represent as they promote policy needs in their behalf.
Chris Novak serves as executive director of the ISA. He also wears another hat, serving as executive director of the corn growers group as well. You can learn more at: indianasoybean.com.