STARBUCK — Paul Freeman, who farms near Starbuck, was elected in April to the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

The 15-member board, which includes soybean producers from Minnesota, directs investments from the federally mandated checkoff to numerous programs designed to increase the profitability for the state’s nearly 28,000 soybean farmers.

Freeman was elected as the council's District 4 representative, replacing longtime council director Jim Call, who retired after more than 20 years on the council.

“He did a great job and I know I can’t fill his huge shoes,” said Freeman. “But I’m looking forward to the opportunity to making sure checkoff funds are used wisely.”

Freeman grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his family farm in Pope County.

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He’s a director and former president with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and serves on the board of Ag Management Solutions, which oversees both the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

"I’m excited to look into the research and the promotion sides of things, and getting the word out about the many uses of soybeans,” Freeman said.

Four other council members were re-elected to the board including Kris Folland from Kittson County, Jim Willers from Rock County, Cole Trebesch from Brown County and Benjamin Storm from Dover.

All five elected directors will serve three-year terms that begin July 1.

This year, more than 3,900 farmers across the state received an election ballot sent out by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, which administers the election.

“The diversity and experience of the council allows for a variety of approaches to addressing the agricultural challenges and opportunities throughout Minnesota,” said Joe Serbus, election chair.

Later this spring, the council will unveil a statewide “Driving Soy” campaign to promote checkoff investments in soy-based tires.