Bill Zurn

With five seats up for reelection, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSRandPC) has announced the results of the 2023 election. 

Callaway farmer and longtime MSRandPC Director Bill Zurn was reelected to represent District 1, 2 and 3. Pat Sullivan (District 4), Ron Obermoller (District 7) and Rochelle Krusemark (District 8) also won their reelection bids. Each director’s three-year term on the Council begins July 1.

“As a director, I will continue to help Minnesota soybean growers reach their goals and showcase U.S. soybeans,” said Zurn, who has been involved with Minnesota Soybean leadership for 20 years and served on the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program Board. 

Administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on behalf of the Council, nearly 4,000 Minnesota farmers received ballots this election season.

“It’s necessary that we research and develop soybeans that will not only lead to better yields and profitability for the farmer, but also increase the quality of soybeans for our markets,” said O’Leary, a Benson farmer who served as Council chair from 2017-2019. “The wise investment of our checkoff dollars will ensure that Minnesota and the U.S. remain leaders in the soybean industry, keeping our farmers competitive and successful in the global agriculture economy.”

In 2023, the council continued its Driving Soy and Stepping Up promotions via the organized county program. Council leaders are also eager to highlight this summer’s opening of the Ag Innovation Campus soybean crush and research facility in Crookston.

“Representing Minnesota farmers on the Council has been a privilege,” said Obermoller, a Brewster farmer and past chair of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. “I believe in the power of soybean farmers working together through the checkoff program to accomplish research for the benefit of all soybean producers.”

The 15 elected farmers that comprise the MSRandPC board direct the investments of soybean checkoff money toward developing new uses for soybeans, expanding markets, researching new production practices and technologies and promoting the use of soybeans – all with an eye toward improving profitability for Minnesota’s approximately 27,000 soybean farmers.

The soybean checkoff is federally mandated by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. Every time a Minnesota soybean farmer sells soybeans, one half of 1 percent of the market price is checked off. Half of the checkoff is invested by Minnesota, while the other half is directed by the United Soybean Board. 

“The council plays a large role in addressing future challenges such as marketing, weed, pest and disease management, as well as other issues that affect farmers’ bottom lines,” Sullivan said. “Additionally, the council plays an important part in export markets and opening new markets for our soybeans. I also have an impact on the types of new uses we explore, and ensuring we always look to do impactful work.” 

The council, which is chaired by Bird Island farmer Joe Serbus, will elect officers at its June board meeting.