Brown County farmer reelected to MN Soybean Research, Promotion Council

MANKATO — After nearly 4,000 Minnesota farmers received ballots, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) has finalized its 2021 election results. A total of five seats were up this season, with four farmers earning re-election and one newcomer joining the Council.

Brown County farmer and current MSR&PC Chair Cole Trebesch (District 8) was re-elected and has served on the Council since 2015. He will continue to serve for a three-year term alongside the Council’s four 2021 elected directors.

Joining Trebesch on the board are: Kris Folland (Districts 1,2&3); Jim Willers (District 7); Benjamin Storm (District 9) and newly elected Paul Freeman (District 4). Freeman is replacing Director Jim Call, who is retiring after more than 20 years on the Council. Each director will start their new term on July 1.

“Minnesota Soybean works hard to help all soybean farmers, through investing in research to improve yield, quality and environmental issues as well as working on improving markets at home and around the world,” Trebesch said. “I am honored to continue to serve on the board of directors.”

Trebesch farms near Springfield on his fifth-generation farm, where he raises corn, soybean, hogs and cattle. Trebesch and his wife, Miranda, have two children, Oliver and Elsie. Trebesch became involved with Minnesota Soybean through the ASA DuPont Young Leader Program and continued to serve on the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association until he successfully ran for a Council seat. He has been Council chair since 2019.

“Cole’s biggest strength is he listens,” Council CEO Tom Slunecka said. “He’s the type of leader who makes sure everyone has their voice heard. He gets all the opinions and inputs he needs, and then makes a decision.”

This year, more than 3,900 farmers across the state received an election ballot sent out by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which administers the election on behalf of the Council.

“We’re excited to welcome Paul Freeman to our team, and of course we thank Jim Call for his dedication and also welcome back our fellow directors who were elected again,” MSR&PC Election Chair Joe Serbus said. “The diversity and experience of the Council allows for a variety of approaches to addressing the agricultural challenges and opportunities throughout Minnesota.”

MSR&PC is the 15-seat, elected board of soybean producers from Minnesota who direct checkoff investments toward programs designed to increase the profitability for the state’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers. Later this spring, the Council will be unveiling a statewide “Driving Soy” campaign to promote checkoff investments in soy-based tires.

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% of the market price is checked off. Half of the checkoff is utilized by Minnesota, while the other half is directed by the United Soybean Board. Checkoff resources are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.

“It’s a great privilege to direct checkoff funds and it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly,” Trebesch told Soybean Business in a 2019 profile. “It’s important that farmers know where their checkoff dollars are invested, and how they can use the programs to help their business.”


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