Press Release

ISA Selects New Soy Ambassador Leadership Class

November 19, 2012

ISA Selects New Soy Ambassador Leadership Class

 BLOOMINGTON, ILL – November 20, 2012 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has announced its new leadership class of Soy Ambassadors.  The program, funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff, is a two-year program made up of a select group of soybean farmers chosen to develop qualities that can be channeled toward future leadership roles.

"The Soy Ambassador program provides participants with the opportunity to gain expertise, exposure and perspective that is critical to becoming an effective soybean industry leader," says Bill Wykes, soybean farmer from Yorkville, Ill., and ISA chairman.  "A number of past Soy Ambassadors have assumed not only state, but also national leadership positions."

The 2012-13 Soy Ambassadors were named during the Illinois Commodity Conference: 

  • Cassandra DeJaynes, LaHarpe, is involved with a no-till/strip-till corn and soybean rotation and a 250-head cow-calf herd.  She has a degree in interdisciplinary studies. 
  • Matthew DeSutter, Woodhull, is a partner in a family corn and soybean farming operation with his dad, two uncles and a cousin. He attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a degree in ag business.  He participated in the New Century Farmer Program and the Tomorrow's Top Producer Seminar.  DeSutter also is part of the Farm Bureau Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow (ALOT) program.
  • Frank Legner, Odell, farms corn and soybeans with his father.  He also is a precision farming consultant.  Legner has a degree from Bradley University in mechanical engineering and worked for CNH in the planter division for three years. He also is involved with the Feed the World Food Drive. 
  • Kate Longley, Aledo, farms corn and soybeans with her father, including seed soybeans.  She graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree and a triple major in ag studies, agronomy and environmental studies.  She also has an associate' degree from Black Hawk College East.  She was active on both campuses.
  • Jeff Lynn, Oakford, is part of a family farm dating back to 1833 in Illinois that includes corn and soybeans and seed soybeans.  The farm is in the top eight percent of seed production for the seed company, and currently is growing regulated dicamba soybeans.  He previously sold insurance and led tours for a major equipment manufacturer.
  • Jenny Mennenga, LeRoy, farms corn and soybeans with her family, and has a small cow-calf herd.  She previously was an agronomist for a large ag company.  Mennenga has a degree in agronomy from Iowa State University and is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA).  She is involved with her church and the Cultivating Master Farmer program.
  • Austin Rincker, Moweaqua, manages Hunter Grain, Inc., a corn and soybean farm with a small herd of Angus cows.  Rincker has a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois, and has an Illinois auctioneer license.  He is active in his church, Shelby County Farm Bureau and volunteers with local 4-H and FFA chapters. 

ISA recognized the 2010-11 Soy Ambassadors: Gary Berg, St. Elmo; Andrew DeSutter, Woodhull; Jered Hooker, Clinton; Mark and Sherri Kannmacher, Martinsville; Steve Launius, Nashville; Kevin Sands, Hopedale; Mark Smith, Earlville; and Nick Wurl, Altamont.

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website


For more information, contact:

Amy Roady

Mark Albertson