Local representation is one of the keys to effective commodity organizations. Now is your chance to exercise your right to vote as a soybean farmer for people yoo want to represent you on the Indiana Soybean Alliance Board of Directors.
ISA formed from a merger of the Indiana Soybean Growers Association and the Indiana Soybean Board more than a year ago. As such, ISA represents nearly 28,000 soybean farmers in Indiana who contribute to the soybean check-off. ISA's Board of Directors manages the check-off funds.
Indiana is divided into four districts for the purposes of electing representatives to the ISA Board of Directors. In current elections, two directors will be elected from each district to a three-year term on ISBA. Candidates were determined earlier through a petition process.
Unfortunately, there are only nine candidates running for eight positions. Four candidates are running from one district, and there is only one candidate in another. Two of the districts have two candidates. To vote, visit the Purdue University Extension office in the county where you live by November 30. You can vote for no more than two nominees in your district. If you can't vote in person, you can request an absentee ballot from your Extension office anytime through November 30.
District I basically includes northwest Indiana, plus Kosciusko and Wabash Counties. Nominees are Kevin Wilson of Walton in Cass County, and Mike Yoder, of Middlebury in Elkhart County. Wilson served on the former Indiana Soybean Growers Association Board. Yoder, a dairyman, is seeking reelection to the board.
District II includes northeast and eastern Indiana, down through Jay and Randolph Counties. Darrell McGriff, Marion, seeks re-election, and is a past president of the Indiana Soybean Growers Association. McGriff retired from a soil conservation position, and currently works as a crops adjustor in the insurance business.
Also running in District II is Jerry Osterholt, Roanoke. He farms in both Huntington and Allen Counties. Osterholt currently represents Indiana on the National Biodiesel Board.
District III includes 22 counties in west-central and southwest Indiana, stretching from Tippecanoe County to Vanderburgh, and including Vigo, Knox and Montgomery, amongst others. Candidates are Fayte Brewer, Lafayette; Bradley Burbrink, Terre Haute; Shelley McDaniel, Boonville; and Mark Seib, Poseyville.
Brewer is seeking his second term. He's president of Ag Alumni Seed. Brewer farms 3,200 acres in a family operation in Vigo and Clay Counties. He and his wife, Amber, represented Indiana as 2007 DuPont ASA Young Leaders.
McDaniel and her husband, Gary, farm and raise hogs in Spencer and Warrick Counties. She's active in Farm Bureau and as a 4-H leader.
Finally, Mark Seib seeks his third term on the soybean board, serving before the merger. He's currently president of the Indiana Soybean Alliance. He farms 1,500 acres with family members, and is active in Farm Bureau and local affairs.
District IV takes in 32 counties in central and southeast Indiana, from Crawford to Switzerland and Rush to Scott. The only candidate is James Cherry, Greenfield. He and his family farm 3,500 acres. He seeks his second term on the soybean board.
Voters must have grown soybeans within the past two years, and are allowed one vote per farm entity. Inquire about specifics at your local Extension office.