February 27, 2024

Four Indiana farmers begin service on state’s soybean checkoff board

INDIANAPOLIS — Four newly elected board members began their service on the Indiana Soybean Alliance’s Board of Directors, while a handful of directors were selected as executive officers during two days of meetings.

Earlier this year, four incumbents and four newcomers earned election to the state’s soybean checkoff board.

Two new board members filled each of the seats in Districts 2 and 3, and incumbent board members returned to service in both Districts 1 and 4.

In District 2, incumbents Matthew Chapman of Springport and Elaine Gillis of Dunkirk completed three, three-year terms each. The new directors are Jenna Scott and Mark Wenning.

District 2 includes Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Huntington, Jay, LaGrange, Madison, Noble, Randolph, Steuben, Wayne, Wells and Whitley counties.

Scott, a full-time farmer, produces soybeans, corn, hemp and vegetable transplants in a partnership with her father, Greg Cox, near Muncie.

Scott is a 2006 Purdue University graduate. She and her husband, Doug, are raising two children.

Wenning, also a full-time farmer, grows soybeans and corn on his Henry County farm near Cambridge City.

He studied ag economics and agricultural systems management at Purdue University, where he graduated in 2012.

In District 3, Oaktown farmer Craig Williams finished his nine years in office, and Oaktown farmer Andrew Miller did not seek reelection. Winning the District 3 race were Jason Misiniec and Larry Rusch.

District 3 includes the counties of Clay, Daviess, Dubois, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Spencer, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren and Warrick.

Misiniec grows soybeans, seed soybeans, white corn and wheat on his farm near Bicknell in Knox, Daviess, Greene and Sullivan counties.

A full-time farmer, Misiniec also owns a small, show-pig operation and operates JAM Feeds. He and his wife, Heather, have two children.

Rusch, a full-time farmer, grows soybeans and corn on his farm near Vincennes. He began farming in 1991.

Rusch earned degrees from Vincennes University and Western Kentucky University. He and his wife, Jerri, have three children.

In District 1, Bremen farmer Joe Stoller was reelected to a second term on the ISA board.

He operates J.R. Stoller Farms in Marshall and Elkhart counties, growing soybeans and commercial corn.

District 1 includes Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Elkhart, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Lake, Marshall, Miami, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Tipton, Wabash and White counties.

In District 4, Seymour farmer Kevin Burbrink and Greensburg farmer Mike Koehne were reelected.

Burbrink won a second term. A full-time farmer since 1973, he grows soybeans, corn, wheat on his farm and has also grown popcorn, tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers for pickles.

Koehne earned a third ISA board election. He grows corn, hay and raises cattle. A first-generation farmer, he started in 1992, and he also owns a farm drainage business.

District 4 counties are Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio, Orange, Perry, Ripley, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Switzerland, Union and Washington.

Executive Officers

Part of the business during the ISA board meetings Dec. 1-2 was the process of selecting its leadership.

Koehne was elected as the board chair by his peers. He takes over for Jim Douglas, who has served as the board’s leader for the past year.

Koehne has served in many roles during his six years on the board, including two years as the chair of ISA’s Membership & Policy Committee.

Kevin Cox, a farmer from Brazil, was elected as vice chair. The new secretary is Stoller, and entering his second year as treasurer is Hartford City farmer C.J. Chalfant.

The board also selected three committee chairs: Monrovia farmer Keevin Lemenager will lead the M&P Committee; LaGrange farmer Carey McKibben will lead the Market Development Committee; and Denise Scarborough of LaCrosse will lead the Sustainability and Value Creation Committee for a second year.

“Between the young farmers just joining our board and the veteran board members who are returning, we have a really good group to lead this organization,” Koehne said.

“I’m excited for this next year. I’m excited for the things we’re going to accomplish in the next 12 months.”