USSEC Holds Board Meeting in Omaha

USSEC’s board of directors met prior to the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange on August 14 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Chairman Jim Miller kicked off the meeting by addressing an approved fax vote conducted by the USSEC Board to move the August annual board meeting to February 2018, where it will be held annually around that timeframe thereafter. The set meeting will include the elections and appointments process and annual reporting of USSEC’s year-end financials.
Directors heard a presentation from Dr. Seth Naeve, Agronomist and Soybean Physiologist with the University of Minnesota, about Enhanced Protein & Oil/Value. Dr. Naeve focused on opportunities and challenges on soybean quality and value, speaking about the U.S. Soybean Quality Survey, which has been conducted since 1986 and aims to provide new crop quality data to aid international decisions. He concluded his presentation by emphasizing the need to continually improve methods and to leverage soybeans by creating more value for farmers and purchasers.
Kellie Gypin of the Context Network spoke about the international marketing strategy work being conducted on behalf of the United Soybean Board (USB) with the USSEC team. The project will wrap up in February 2018 with a board presentation for international marketing investments.
Michele Kouadio, USSEC’s Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Marketing Specialist, provided the board with an update on FAS and her first impressions of USSEC. Ms. Kouadio also touched on collaboration between FAS and the U.S. Soy family and provided updates on the funding process and FAS’s approach to the different funding groups in determining allocations and suggested holding discussions during a December workgroup.
USSEC COO Ed Beaman gave a presentation on the program work being conducted at the organization. His presentation covered FY17 investment rates and funding source totals; a year-to-date investment summary total; an overview of UES 2018 funding.
USSEC CFO Stephanie Perotti provided an overview of internally managed funds (IMF) categories and also provided fund balances. Mr. Beaman finished the presentation by sharing current IMF investments and also proposed two projects for FY18: 2017 International Marketing Dialogue and IP Promotion in China, which were subsequently approved by the board.
Following these presentations, the board conducted its routine business, before hearing reports from the executive, the audit and budget, membership and industry relations, and governance committees.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter then gave his report, covering further promotion of the U.S. Soy Advantage; the sustainability of U.S. Soy; bigger, bolder programs for the future; ensuring alignment between programs and contract deliverables; the importance of transparency and over-informing the board; the fiscal 2018 planning process; and acknowledging founding members’ CEO transitions.