USSEC Holds Board; Annual Meeting in Anaheim
USSEC held its board and annual meeting on February 25 and 26 in Anaheim, California prior to Commodity Classic. USSEC board members, USSEC members, USSEC staff, and other U.S. Soy stakeholders were in attendance.
Attendees listened to Raja Ramachandran, CEO of Ripe.IO present “Help Us Build the Value of the U.S. Soy Advantage – Blockchain Overview” before moving into consent agenda items, the CEO report, new and unfinished business, committee reports, and an executive session.
At the annual meeting, retiring chairman Jim Miller spoke about his time serving USSEC, saying “The opportunities that come to us in life are amazing. I value the opportunity that I’ve had.” Mr. Miller recounted that he has visited 18 countries during his term at USSEC, saying he traveled to about 20 percent of the roughly 80 countries that USSEC serves.
Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Plant Protection and Quarantine, spoke about how weed seeds (foreign matter) threaten U.S. access to China’s market and about the subsequent agreement between China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The goal of this systems approach is to keep U.S. soybeans moving to China without interruption while enhancing their value. Mr. El-Lissy said that soybeans are the largest U.S. ag export to China, representing 91 percent of the total value of U.S. grain exports, and are worth $12.4 billion annually. As of February 23, 5.3 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. soybeans had been shipped to China with no rejections since the systems approach was implemented on January 1.
Wally Tyner, Agricultural Economics Professor, Purdue University, joined the board meeting via Webex to provide an analysis of the China market and a discussion of NAFTA. Dr. Tyner’s presentation focused on the importance of the China and Mexico markets for the U.S. Soy industry.
Mark Holland and Lauren Chupp of the Context Network spoke about international marketing investments.
CEO Jim Sutter thanked the retiring directors: John Heisdorffer, American Soybean Association (ASA); Jimmy Sneed, United Soybean Board (USB); John Wright, Owensboro Grain; Don Wyss, Indiana Soybean Association; and Jim Miller, ASA.
The 2018 USSEC board of directors was seated and the executive committee elected.
2018 Board of Directors
- Sharon Covert, Grower Leader, Illinois Soybean Association
- Dawn Scheier, Grower Leader, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council—newly elected
- Chris Arnold, The Scoular Company
- Brandon Bickham, The DeLong Company
- Matt Hopkins, ADM—newly elected
- Aaron Skyberg, Healthy Food Ingredients (SK Food International, Inc.)—reelected
- Jim Traub, Clarkson Grain Company
- Stan Born, Grower Leader, Illinois—newly appointed
- Brian Kemp, Grower Leader, Iowa—newly appointed
- Monte Peterson, Grower Leader, North Dakota
- Kevin Scott, Grower Leader, South Dakota—reappointed
- Todd Gibson, Grower Leader, Missouri
- Derek Haigwood, Grower Leader, Arkansas—reappointed
- Darren Kadlec, Grower Leader, North Dakota—newly appointed
- Doug Winter, Grower Leader, Illinois
Elections were held for the USSEC executive committee. All elections were unanimous. The new executive committee is as follows:
- Chairman – Derek Haigwood
- Vice Chairman – Monte Peterson
- Treasurer – Jim Traub
- Secretary – Sharon Covert