Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the appointment of 17 members and one alternate member to the United Soybean Board. All appointees will serve three-year terms beginning immediately.

“These appointees represent a cross section of the soybean industry and I am confident that soybean producers will be well served by them,” said Vilsack. Soybean production is vital to the United States agriculture industry. In 2008, according to USDA statistics, producers planted an estimated 75.7 million acres of soybeans. Top producing states included Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and Nebraska.

Appointed Soybean Board members are: F.H. Lyons Jr., Arkansas; Mark Detweiler, Georgia; David P. Hartke, Illinois; Karen Fear, Indiana; Laura L. Foell, Iowa; Dennis R. Clark, Kentucky; Raymond S. Schexnayder, Jr., Louisiana; James A. Call, Minnesota; Todd Gibson, Missouri; Mark A. Caspers, Nebraska; Earl B. Hendrix, North Carolina; Vanessa A. Kummer, North Dakota; John B. Motter, Ohio; Jim Musser, Pennsylvania; Stanley R. Hanson, South Dakota; Wade A. Cowan, Texas; and R. Bruce Johnson, Virginia.

Georgia resident Walter L. Godwin, was appointed as an alternate member.

The 68-member board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act. The Secretary selected the appointees from soybean producers nominated by Qualified State Soybean Boards.

The mandatory program is funded at the rate of one-half of one percent of the net market price of the soybeans purchased. The board’s goal is to strengthen the position of soybeans in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for soybeans and soybean products.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight of the board.