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Aaron Porter Chosen for Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council Chair

Southeast Missouri soybean producer, Aaron Porter, selected to serve for a one-year term


(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Southeast Missouri soybean farmer, Aaron Porter, was elected as Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s (MSMC) chairman following a vote today by the checkoff’s board of directors. As chairman, Porter will lead 13 farmer-leaders elected to serve and oversee Missouri’s soybean checkoff investments.

“The responsibility of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is to give Missouri soybean farmers the best opportunity to profit through strategic checkoff investments,” said Porter. “As the new chairman of the checkoff, I believe in striving to maximize the farmers’ bottom line around the state through innovative research-derived solutions, comprehensive consumer and stakeholder engagement, and novel market development strategies.”

Porter, from Dexter, Missouri, represents District 7 on the MSMC board. Porter farms full-time with his father-in-law and wife, growing corn, cotton and soybeans.

This is Porter’s first term as the Council’s chairman. He was elected to the role at the board’s annual summer meeting. Porter succeeds Kyle Durham, two-year chairman from Norborne, Missouri representing District 2.

“I am certain Aaron will serve the checkoff well as our new chairman,” said Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybeans CEO and executive director. “Aaron is an incredibly humble leader, bringing with him a level head and intentionality to the board. Missouri Soybeans can rest assured Aaron will add an intense thoughtfulness to his chairmanship.”

Porter previously served as the Council’s vice-chairman and has been on the board for six years.

Adding to the executive board for MSMC includes Mark Lehenbauer as vice-chairman and Kevin Mainord as secretary/treasurer.

MSMC also welcomes two new board members, Nathan White and Marc Zell. White resides in Ray County and is serving as the District 1 director upon John Kelley’s retirement. Zell is a producer from Linn County and will be replacing Bob Littleton as he retires from his position.

Missouri Soybeans extends their great thanks and appreciation to John Kelley and Bob Littleton for their years of service and expertise in the soybean industry.

“The dedication Bob and John provided to the board cannot be understated,” said Wheeler. “Their strategic thinking, passion and teamwork will be sorely missed, and the soybean farmers of Missouri should be proud of these gentlemen’s hard work over the last several years.”

Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council

The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is a statewide, farmer-led organization working to improve opportunities for Missouri soybean farmers through a combination of research, outreach, education and market development efforts supported by the soy checkoff. Learn more online by exploring

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Samantha Turner