Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board elects new officers

by George Jared ([email protected]) 529 views 

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Farm Bureau.

The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board (ASPB) elected new officers to lead the organization during a recent board meeting. Elected to chair the nine-member board is John Freeman of Desha County. Doug Hartz of Arkansas County was elected vice chair, with JoeThrash of Perry County elected secretary-treasurer. The three farmer-leaders will serve in their respective roles through the board’s 2024 fiscal year. Donald Morton Jr. of Prairie County, completed his term as board chairman in July and will serve a two-year term as immediate past chair.

“As chairman, my goal is to ensure the checkoff and its investments remain close to producers’ interests,” Freeman said. “The members of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board are dedicated to advancing the soybean industry in Arkansas, and it is a job we don’t take lightly.”

Freeman grew up in Dumas where he first began farming with his father. After earning an ag business degree from the University of Arkansas, Freeman returned to the family farm to plant his first soybean crop. Since serving as an ASPB member, he has seen firsthand how checkoff-funded research benefits him and other producers. Freeman seeks to continue the board’s investment in meaningful research during his tenure as chairman.

As ASPB vice chairman, Hartz of Stuttgart assists in leading the board’s administration of the checkoff. Hartz is a living part of the Arkansas soybean industry’s history. Hartz’s grandfather introduced soybeans to Arkansas, planting the state’s first recorded crop in 1925. Hartz carries on his family’s legacy.

Joe Thrash of Conway is a third-generation farmer. As secretary-treasurer of the ASPB, Thrash works to ensure checkoff dollars are appropriated to new technology and research. In addition to his role with ASPB, Thrash is also an active member of the Arkansas Soybean Association and Arkansas Farm Bureau.

The soybean checkoff is a congressionally mandated assessment on soybeans, the proceeds of which are used to fund soybean research and promotion efforts. To learn more about the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and its officers, visit TheMiracleBean.com.