From Illinois Business Journal news services
BLOOMINGTON — U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed 17 new members and one alternate member to the United Soybean Board yesterday, including two Illinois Soybean Association board members, Gary Berg, of St. Elmo, and Lynn Rohrscheib, of Fairmount.
Rohrscheib currently serves as vice-chair of the association and is also an at-large director. She was previously the secretary and was a 2013 member of the American Soybean Association DuPont Young Leader Class. She is active with the Vermillion County Farm Bureau and is a county election judge.
Berg currently is a district 13 director and serves on the ISA Marketing Committee. He recently participated on the United Soybean Board’s See for Yourself program, which provided an opportunity to learn firsthand the international value of U.S. soybean to Mexico. Prior to joining the ISA board, Berg was a Soy Ambassador, member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and past president of the Illinois Wheat Association.
The U.S. agriculture secretary selects appointees from soybean producers nominated by Qualified State Soybean Boards. The directors will be appointed at USB’s upcoming annual meeting on Dec. 10 in St. Louis.
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.
The farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff funds to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soybean 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.
ISA represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmers’ interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.