Gary Berg, a soybean farmer from St. Elmo, was recently appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to be a director on the United Soybean Board (USB). Berg will serve as a volunteer farmer-leader for a two-year term and will represent his fellow soybean farmers. He will invest soy checkoff funds in marketing, promotion and research projects to increase the profit potential of all U.S. soybean farmers.
“We are excited to welcome Gary and the other new farmer-leaders who will be joining us on the United Soybean Board,” says USB Chairman Jared Hagert, a soybean farmer from Emerado, North Dakota. “This new leadership will bring fresh ideas to the soy checkoff and will help us continue to make the U.S. soy industry as profitable as possible for our fellow farmers.”
Berg raises corn, soybeans, wheat and double crop soybeans on his farm in Fayette County. He is a member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and is a current member and past president of the Illinois Wheat Association. He is a board member of the Fayette County Farm Bureau, serves on the Fayette County Bank board of directors and is a past president of the St. Elmo School Board.
“I first became interested in joining USB after being selected to take part in the See for Yourself program,” says Berg. “After seeing my checkoff dollars in action both domestically and overseas through See for Yourself, I decided I would like to be part of USB once I received experience at the state level.”
Berg was one of five new directors who were sworn in and began work at USB’s annual meeting on December 10 in St. Louis.
The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.