SIOUX FALLS — Soybean producers from across South Dakota recently elected soybean growers, David Struck of Wolsey and Todd Hanten of Goodwin to represent Districts 5 and 6 on the board of the South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (SDSRPC). This is the farmer led, organization charged with wisely investing and leveraging checkoff dollars on behalf of South Dakota soybean farmers.
In addition, former South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Jaspers appointed Bob Metz of Peever and Steve Wik of Faulkton to fill two new board positions which are the result of expanding the number of districts represented on the board from seven to nine.
Designed to better reflect soybean production in South Dakota, the expansion was put in place by a vote of the farmer-leaders on the SDSRPC board. By law, the soybean growers selected to lead these new districts, District 8 and District 9, must be appointed to their first term by the South Dakota secretary of agriculture.
“Because the leaders of this organization are also soybean growers, we understand the challenges faced by our peers across South Dakota. We are eager to invest our time and energy to grow the profits of soybean growers across the state through research and creating new markets for our soybeans,” said newly elected SDSRPC Chair, Craig Converse a Brookings soybean grower.
The 2018-2019 officer team
Along with electing Converse to serve as chairman, the SDSRPC board elected the following soybean growers to leadership positions: Vice Chairman Todd Hanten of Goodwin; Treasurer, Dawn Scheier of Salem and Secretary Michael McCranie of Claremont.
Meet the new board members
- District 5: David Struck is a fourth-generation soybean, corn and wheat grower who farms with his wife, Brenda, son Brady and dad, Duane.
Actively involved in the day-to-day activities of his family farm since childhood — he started running tractors when he was 10 — farming is the only career Struck ever considered.
Struck is eager to serve South Dakota growers as a member of the SDSRPC board because, “it’s an opportunity to make a difference promoting South Dakota soybeans and the farmers who raise them.”
He adds that the promotional work SDSRPC engages in is essential to improving soybean markets today and into the future. “Most consumers are too far removed from the farm and don’t realize what it takes to produce food. The American farmer is good at what we do, which means most Americans don’t need to worry about where their food comes from. Because the SDSRPC board is made up of farmers, we have first-hand knowledge of the work that goes into raising our quality product and can help get our story out.”
District 5 includes the following counties: Beadle, Jerauld, Hand, Hyde, Hughes, Buffalo, Lyman, Gregory, Tripp, Jones, Mellette, Todd, Haakon, Jackson, Bennett, Pennington, Shannon, Custer and Fall River.
- District 8: Bob Metz is a fifth-generation farmer from Peever. He farms with his wife, Karen, sons, Justin and Josh and his son-in-law, Steve DeSpiegler. In addition to soybeans, the family raises corn.
“My grandchildren are the seventh generation to live on the farm that was homesteaded by my mother’s family in 1885 — I feel honored to continue the family legacy,” explained Metz, who has prior experience serving on SDSRPC board and the United Soybean Board.
When Secretary Jaspers asked Metz to represent the newly formed, District 8, he accepted. “I believe in what the checkoff does and why it does it. Every South Dakota farmer pays into it, so we need to ensure that the dollars are wisely invested to best serve the growers we represent,” Metz explained. “Agriculture is the business I love. It has been good to my family, so any way I can give back, I will.”
District 8 includes the following counties: Marshall, Day, Roberts and Clark.
- District 9: Steve Wik is a fifth-generation farmer who grew up in Minneapolis, but spent his summers helping his grandfather on the family’s Faulk County farm. Shortly after receiving his master’s in business administration from the University of Minnesota, his grandfather became ill and needed fulltime help on the farm.
Wik didn’t hesitate. “I enjoy the independence of farming as well as the challenges. These are exciting times to be in agriculture, with challenges come opportunity,” said Wik, who also raises corn and spring wheat.
When Secretary Jaspers asked Wik to represent the newly formed District 9 he accepted.
“I believe in the mission of this organization. Developing new markets for our soybeans is extremely important in agriculture’s current environment. I will work hard to improve the profitability of our South Dakota soybean growers,” Wik said.
District 9 includes the following counties: Spink, Faulk, Potter, Sully, Dewey, Stanley, Ziebach, Meade, Butte, Lawrence and Walworth.
The SDSRPC board meets several times a year to determine the research and promotional programs that will receive checkoff dollars. A complete listing of SDSRPC board members can be found at www.sdsoybean.org.
To learn more about how SDSRPC serves South Dakota’s soybean growers, visit www.sdsoybean.org.