Soy Transportation Coalition Elects Officers, Sets 2021 Agenda At Annual Meeting

The Soy Transportation Coalition elected officers and established its strategy and agenda for 2021 during the organization’s annual meeting on November 30. Due to COVID-related restrictions and challenges regarding in-person gatherings, the annual meeting was conducted virtually.

Jonathan Miller of Island, Ky., was elected chairman. Miller previously served as the STC’s secretary-treasurer from 2019-2020. Miller is a director on the Kentucky Soybean Association, and he raises soybeans, corn and wheat. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve as chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition,” he said. “Whether it is promoting the deepening of the lower Mississippi River, sustainable funding for our inland waterway system, more cost-effective ways to maintain our rural roads and bridges or advocating for any other part of our supply chain, I am proud of how the STC continues to help promote a transportation system that will allow farmers to remain profitable. I look forward to continuing this important work.”

Chris Brossart, a soybean, corn, spring wheat, malting barley and canola farmer from Wolford, N.D., was elected vice chairman.  Brossart is also a director of the North Dakota Soybean Council, currently serving as vice chairman. “The Soy Transportation Coalition has done a wonderful job staying abreast of the various transportation opportunities and challenges that impact farmers,” Brossart said. “I appreciate the opportunity to work on behalf of my fellow soybean producers in helping ensure we remain the most competitive in the global marketplace.”

Tim Gottman, a soybean and corn farmer from Monroe City, Mo., was elected secretary-treasurer.   Gottman is also a director on the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “I appreciate how the Soy Transportation Coalition focuses on all the modes of transportation that are important to soybean farmers,” Gottman said. “Because soybeans travel to market by truck, railroad, barge and ocean vessel, we need to pay attention to each one of these modes. I especially appreciate the STC’s work on the condition of our rural roads and bridges since farmers use them on a daily basis, and they need attention. I look forward to 2021 being a productive year for the STC.”

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During the meeting, the STC board emphasized the initiatives the organization seeks to continue to advance in 2021, including:

• continuing to support and encourage the project underway to deepen the Lower Mississippi River;

• increasing the implementation of innovative and economical methods for repairing and replacing rural bridges;

• promoting greater access to barge transportation along the Missouri River for the soybean industry;

• promoting the greater use of soy-based concrete and asphalt sealants and enhancers throughout the soybean supply chain;

• continuing to advocate for sufficient and sustainable funding for locks and dams along the inland waterway system; and

• promoting the greater utilization of containers–particularly along the inland waterway system–for soybean exports.

Mike Bellar of Howard, Kan., and Joel Schreurs of Tyler, Minn., concluded their two-year term limits as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Bellar will continue serving as a director on the STC board. Schreurs reached his nine-year limit for total service on the STC board. In addition, Eddie Sanders of Franklin, Tenn., completed nine years of service on the board.

“It is a privilege to work on behalf of such a thoughtful and professional group of farmers,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the STC. “I look forward to working with Chairman Miller, Vice Chairman Brossart and Secretary-Treasurer Gottman throughout this upcoming year on an aggressive agenda to benefit the soybean supply chain. I sincerely appreciate Mike Bellar, Joel Schreurs and Eddie Sanders’ leadership and service. We are a better organization because of them.”