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2014 Director & Delegate Election

The Slate of Candidates for the 2014 Board of Director and Delegate Election are listed below. Ballots will be mailed to patrons on December 16th and will need to be signed and returned by Tuesday, January 7, 2014. 

Director and delegate terms will be three years in duration.

District 1

Director Candidates:  

Glen Crawford
Aberdeen, SD

Glen (42) farms with his wife, Heidi, son, Garrett (7), daughter, Claire (5), mother, Marie, brother, Todd and his wife, Lana, and brother, Leon and his wife, Nicole. Together they grow corn and soybeans. Glen completed SDARL (Class VI) in addition to FCC Services’ Advanced Governance Series Training. Glen is a member of Northern Electric Coop, Health Care Plus Federal Credit Union and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. When asked what Glen’s vision is for Wheat Growers for the next three years, “We as board members must continue to make sound decisions for your coop that will enable SDWG to be the best partner in production we can be. We must push ourselves to be on the leading edge of technology, production, profitability and safety as a company and a partner. SDWG has the best employees and we must strive to stay financially strong in order to maintain and add assets so they may bring our patrons a level of service they expect.”        
Delegate Candidates:  
Gaylon Anderson
Aberdeen, SD
Gaylon (54) farms with his father and brother. Together they raise corn, soybeans and have a cow/calf operation. Gaylon’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is to “Continue implementing technology (cardtrol, etc.), focus on customer relations and remain competitive with pricing and services.”    
Colin Dutenhoffer
Aberdeen, SD
Colin (39) farms with his wife and dad growing wheat, corn, beans, alfalfa and hay and raising Hereford cows, Appaloosa horses and background calves. Additionally, he and his dad work together at Dutenhoffer Construction building houses. Colin graduated from SDSU with a degree in Agriculture Systems Technology. “To continue to expand the technology base especially MZB and continue to focus on service in all areas especially agronomy and grain” is Colin’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years.    
Mathew Bosse
Cogswell, ND
Mathew (24) majored in Ag Economics in college. He and his father grow corn and soybeans. 

District 2

Director Candidates:  

Wallace Knock
Willow Lake, SD

Wallace (54) farms with his wife, Kathy, and their son, Jared, and his wife, Kati Knock. Together they grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in addition to having a cow/calf, swine finishing and sheep operation. A graduate of SDSU, Wallace also completed Leadership Education Program courses through South Dakota Association of Cooperatives and was a member of SDARL (Class III). He has been an active member of Cattleman’s, Pork Producers, Corn Growers, served 18 years on the local school board, 15 years on other local coop boards, Dakotaland Feeds Board of Governors, South Dakota Value Added Board of Directors and 12 years on South Dakota Wheat Growers Board of Directors. Wallace’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is to “maintain financial stability, yet stay on the cutting edge of technology for the benefit of our patrons.”  
Delegate Candidates:  
Steve Masat
Redfield, SD
Steve (51) and his two sons raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa in addition to having a backgrounding and finish cattle operation and cow/calf operation. After graduating from Redfield High School, Steve served in the National Guard and has served on the South Dakota Wheat, Inc. Board and the Hitchcock-Tulare School Board. His vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to stay on the leading edge of technology, continue to have a very strong financial coop and continue to have integrity with our customers and employees as we continue to move forward.”  
Jason Pazour
Frankfort, SD
After attending SDSU, Jason (27) decided to farm with his father near Frankfort where they grow corn and soybeans in addition to having a cow/calf and feedlot operation. “My vision for Wheat Growers in the future is to be an innovative and reliable partner for farmers. Wheat Growers will continue to adapt and grow with the local agriculture needs. They should be a highly competitive bid for grain and offer top quality agronomy services and products. Since Wheat Growers is customer owned its top priority will always be the farmer’s needs.”   
Steven Kuecker
Webster, SD
Steven (29) earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from SDSU. Steven is also the owner and operator of Kuecker Seed Farm, Inc. a registered and certified seed business. The main crops grown by the family corporation are primarily spring wheat, barley, soybeans and corn. Steven is a member of the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association, Day County Crop Improvement Association, Webster FFA Advisory Council, Past Board of Director of South Dakota Foundation Seed Stock and St. John’s Lutheran Church. “Technology in agriculture has evolved substantially in the past five years. South Dakota Wheat Growers has done an excellent job of providing new technology and products to its members. I believe it is important to continue leading the way into the future as more advancements and products become available. However, it is important to offer these products and services at a more competitive level in the future. I am dedicated to the improvement of agriculture. I strive for its progression through continued research, marketing and value added agriculture. It would be a privilege to serve the members as a delegate for South Dakota Wheat Growers.”      

District 3

Director Candidates:  

Jeff Lakner
Wessington, SD

Jeff (57) farms with his son, Drew, who joined Lakner Farms, LLC this year after college. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in AgriBusiness with a finance emphasis at SDSU, Jeff also attended Morningside College in Sioux City, IA, to take additional classes in marketing and income tax accounting. He completed Harvard Business School Agribusiness Seminar which consists of four annual Executive Education level sessions. In addition to farming for 32 years, Jeff also worked at Farm Credit System as a Loan Officer and Branch Manager in Iowa and Nebraska. Lakner Farms, LLC is a diversified crop and livestock operation. Principal crops are corn, soybeans and hay and they also have a cow/calf operation with calves backgrounded. Jeff is a member of several rural cooperatives, past director of Dakota Ag Coop and Heartland State Bank. He is a current member of RIMS (Risk & Insurance Management Society), IFAMA (International Food and Agribusiness Management Association) and NCFC (National Council of Farmer Cooperatives) and is also a patron of three rural utility coops and 3 ag-supply cooperatives. Jeff’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “Wheat Growers is an industry leader as the largest local ag-supply cooperative in the world (USDA). In the near term, our cooperative will need to continue re-investing in grain and agronomy facilities to better serve the changing needs of farmers which can outpace the ability of cooperatives to respond. Wheat Growers has invested over $150M the past three years in these assets, but more importantly, has done it in a strategic manner to put resources where they are most needed. Beyond 3 years, Wheat Growers will operate in more of a global marketplace, and utilize innovative business partnerships with other cooperatives and agribusiness firms to find the best markets for grain, and efficiencies in supplying crop inputs.”             
Delegate Candidates:  
Matt Micheel
Cavour, SD
Matt (39) farms with his father and uncle. Together they raise corn and soybeans and operate a cow/calf and backgrounding program. Matt earned an Architectural Drafting and Building Construction degree from Mitchell Tech and is a member of Lake Area Corn Processors. His vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to expand the Agronomy Division and become more competitive in the area grain market.” Matt has perfect attendance for the Delegate Meetings in the 6 years he has been a Delegate for Wheat Growers.    
Bob Moody
Huron, SD
Bob (59) graduated from SDSU in 1975 with a degree in Animal Science. He operates a cow/calf operation and grows corn, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa. Bob served as a past board member of Cavour and Yale Coops. “My vision for SDWG is to continue to provide the best agronomy technology and service to all patrons. I would also like to have ever expanding market outlets for our commodities.”    
Mike Puffer
Hitchcock, SD
Mike (37) raises corn, soybeans and beef cattle with his father, Jim Puffer. In addition to achieving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Park Management at SDSU, Mike has also been active on the Hitchcock Fire Department Board. His vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to continue to provide great service in agronomy and grain and to continue to expand in areas that are producing more grain throughout the trade area.” 

District 4

Director Candidates:  

Tom Morog
St. Lawrence, SD

Tom and his wife, Renae, grow spring wheat, winter wheat, corn, sunflowers and soybeans. Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota and prior to farming, worked as an architect. He served as a board member for 9 years for Dakota Ag Coop in St. Lawrence, for 12 years for the Miller School District, and 6 years for the Hand County extension/4-H. Tom’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “The competition in District 4 has increased dramatically. It will be very important to SDWG to continue delivering superior quality products, services and competitive grain markets to our members while maintain profitability.”    
Delegate Candidates:  
Doug Halverson
Kennebec, SD
Doug (56) grows winter wheat, corn, milo and sunflowers. Doug’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to continue to upgrade facilities”. 
Brian Kraus
Reliance, SD
Brian (37) operates a cow/calf and backgrounding operation in addition to growing corn, soybeans, wheat, sunflowers, alfalfa and forage sorghum. He has an associate degree in General Ag. His vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to provide for the increasing fertilizer demand, maintain competitive grain prices and capacities at the elevators and maintain and recruit quality employees.”   
Mike Ashdown
Highmore, SD
Mike (49) farms with his father, Carl. They grow winter wheat, spring wheat, corn, soybeans and sunflowers in addition to having a cow/calf operation. Mike earned his Animal Science Degree from SDSU. Mike is also an active member of the Hyde County Weed & Pest Board, Highmore Volunteer Fire Department and Hyde County Soil Conservation District Board.   

District 5

Director Candidates:  

Greg Preszler
Roscoe, SD

Greg (57) farms with his son, Kurt, growing wheat, corn and soybeans. Greg earned a 4-year degree in Business and is a member of the FSA County Committee.  
Kenneth Rau
Mobridge, SD
Kenneth (45) and his wife are currently working their two sons, Lance and Tate, into their 2,400 acre farming operation where they grow corn, sunflowers, spring wheat and winter wheat and run a 100 head cow/calf operation. In addition to farming, Kenneth is involved with a trucking, custom spraying and custom combining business. Kenneth’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years, “I like the direction Wheat Growers is headed. I would like to keep the ball rolling by continuing to improve our current locations but also look into buying or building a facility 40 to 70 miles west of McLaughlin. As a former employee of Wheat Growers, I would do what I could to make sure that the current ones continue to be well compensated for the hard work they do.” 
Delegate Candidates:  
Paul Soebbing
Watauga, SD
Paul farms with this wife, Marlene. Paul has a 4-year degree in Agriculture and also a degree in International Finance and Global Economics. They grow spring wheat and have a cow/calf operation. Paul has been on the Township Board for 47 years and with Wheat Growers for 4 terms. His vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “We have to finish our projects at all locations. Stay competitive in marketing producer’s products and have good relations with all our employed people and producers.”  
Brett Toennies
  Cresbard, SD
Brett (40) and his wife, Jenifer, have four sons, Blake (16), Zach (12), and twins Brandon and Chris (10). Brett farms with his wife, sons, father and cousins. They grow corn, beans, wheat and have a cow/calf operation. Prior to farming for 17 years, Brett served in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He is a member of the Cresbard American Legion, Northwestern School Board, Hub Tech School Board, Brown County Rescue Dive Team and Cresbard Fire Department. Brett’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to continue working on customer service relations, keep up-to-date on technology as it is ever changing and to continue striving to move forward with positive business choices that we are known for. The customers are the reason this business is successful.”   
Andy Weisser
  Roscoe, SD
Andy (31) farms with his father, Rick, and brother, Austin. They have a cow/calf operation and grow corn, soybeans and wheat. Andy attended Lake Area VoTech in 2000-2001 for Ag Production. Andy’s vision for Wheat Growers for the next three years is “to keep up with the changes in farming and technology.”      

 

Questions? Please contact your director or delegate. You can also contact Val Weisser at the Administrative Office at 605-725-8341. If you have not received your ballot, please call the Administrative Office immediately.