The Indiana Soybean Alliance is alive and well in Indiana. Recent elections gave four Hoosiers terms on the Indiana Soybean Alliance Board for a full term. ISA was formed several years ago as a merger between the Indiana Soybean Grower's Association and an entity that oversaw the investment of checkoff dollars.
The soybean checkoff is mandated by federal rules. Contrast that to the corn checkoff in Indiana, which is set up by Indiana law. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council is in control of how those corn transactions are handled.
The state is split into four districts for ISA. Two of the four districts featured contested races, with more than one person running for the position. Elections are held each year to give an opportunity for fresh blood to come aboard on the ISA Board of Directors.
In District 2, Jerry Osterhold, Roanoke, was elected to the board. Meanwhile David Lowe, already a board member, was re-elected for another term. This district includes these counties: Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Huntington, Jay, LaGrange, Madison, Noble, Randolph, Starke, Wells and Whitley. Basically it' the northeastern quarter of Indiana.
In District 3 in the southwest quarter of the state, Shelley McDaniel of Boonville and Joe Steinkamp of Evansville were both re-elected to a new term on the ISA Board. Counties eligible to vote on this director included Clay, Daviess, Dubois, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Spencer, Sullivna, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren and Warrick Co
District 1 in northwest Indiana did not have a contested race. The Board appointed Joe Tuholski of LaPorte to fill a vacant seat, beginning in December 2011. Adam Renbarger of Wabash remains on the Board for another term.
In district four, representing the southeast quarter of the state, Linda Bacon and Carl Kissell of Shelbyville stay on the board, serving new terms.
Jane Ade Stevens is ISA executive director. She says she's excited to start a new year soon with both continuing and new board members.
How does ISA combine a group that once promoted policies with a group that oversaw the checkoff into one group doing both. Here's how. Dues-paying members of the Alliance are the ones involved in making policy. Directors once elected can choose whether or not to represent dues paying members. If they do, they're involved in policy development that reverberates both in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C.
ISA itself can't use check-off funds to support policy activities. Member dues and contributions fund that side of the ISA equation. Candidates for the board are not required to be dues paying members of ISA.