Becherer Named Among Top Association Leaders for 2013 Print
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Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 12:08
USB CEO honored for his work to improve U.S. soybean farmer profitability
ST. LOUIS (Sept. 24, 2013) – CEO Update likes what it sees in John Becherer, chief executive officer of the United Soybean Board (USB). The publication covering the association-leadership landscape across the United States recently named him one of the top association executives for 2013.
The soy checkoff program Mr. Becherer leads is known for producing results for all U.S. soybean farmers. The most recent independent return-on-investment study found that farmers receive $6.40 in return for every dollar they invest in the education and promotion efforts the checkoff funds. For his efforts, CEO Update chose Mr. Becherer from among more than 100 association executives nominated for their achievements in leadership and managing change, among other areas.
Mr. Becherer says he’s driven by his commitment to ensuring that all U.S. soybean farmers get the most out of every checkoff dollar.
“I’m gratified to receive this honor on behalf of all of our volunteer farmer-leaders who have put so much hard work into the checkoff over the years,” says Mr. Becherer, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm before earning a master’s degree in agricultural economics. “The credit should really go to them for making sure the checkoff continues to pay off for all U.S. soybean farmers.”
In 19 years under Mr. Becherer, soy-checkoff-funded programs have helped power an industry that has made major gains for American soybean farmers. Some highlights include:
  • The national average price of soybeans rose from $5.40 per bushel in Mr. Becherer’s first year as USB CEO to $14.30 in 2012. The total value of the U.S. soybean crop rose from about $13.8 billion to $43.2 billion over the same period.
  • U.S. soybean acreage and production have risen to record highs of 77.5 million acres and 3.36 billion bushels, both set in 2009.
  • U.S. soy exports remain at near-record levels and the commodity is one of the driving forces behind U.S. agriculture’s excellent trade surplus.
USB Chairman Jim Stillman says he believes Mr. Becherer had a hand in helping farmers realize those gains.
“John’s strategy, leadership and counsel have been invaluable to the soy checkoff, the industry and, most importantly, U.S. soybean farmers,” says Stillman, a soybean farmer from Emmetsburg, Iowa. “Without question, the farmers he tirelessly serves are better off now than when he became CEO.”
Mr. Becherer has also led the organization through a massive restructuring designed to keep USB farmer-leaders focused on their strategic objectives: increasing the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, protecting farmers’ freedom to operate and meeting soy customer needs with quality products and services.
CEO Update, founded more than 20 years ago, is the largest independent information source for association and non-profit organization executives in the United States. For more information, visit www.CEOUpdate.com.
The 69 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.
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