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Hoosier soybean farmers in District 3 must cast votes for the 2020 Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) annual election by June 30. ISA distributed ballots to Indiana soybean farmers in District 3 by mail the week of May 25th. District 3 includes the counties of Clay, Daviess, Dubois, Fountain, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Spencer, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Warren and Warrick.
Farmers in District 3 who did not received a ballot in the mail, may request one by calling 317-347-3620. Unopposed races in Districts 1, 2 and 4 will not have a formal election process.
The District 3 candidates include incumbent Mark Legan of Coatesville, Ind., incumbent Derika Lynam-Spaetti of Rockport, Ind. and challenger Eric Schwenke of Rockville, Ind.
Mark Legan, along with his wife, Phyllis, and daughter and son-in-law Beth & Nick Tharp, operate Legan Livestock & Grain in rural Putnam and Hendricks counties. A full time farmer, Legan began farming part time in 1982. In addition to growing row crops, the Legans raise pigs. He earned both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Agriculture from Purdue University. He’s been on the ISA board since 2017 and was elected by soybean farmers from across the nation to represent them on the executive committee of the US Meat Export Federation. Legan has also served on the boards of Indiana Pork, National Pork Producers Council, ISDA Advisory Committee, the Board of Animal Health and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Water Pollution Control Board. If re-elected, Legan hopes to continue representing soybean farmers across the state and use his talents to help the soybean industry achieve its goals.
Derika Lynam-Spaetti - Incumbent
Derika has been a District 3 ISA Director since 2017, where she serves on the membership/policy and marketing/education committees. Derika, and her husband, Jonathan, raise soybeans & white corn in partnership with her husband's father and uncle. When not on the farm, Derika is a high school math teacher, having earned her Bachelor of Science & Master of Arts degrees. In 2018, Derika and her husband won the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award. She serves as a County Education & Outreach Coordinator for Spencer County Farm Bureau, and completed the DuPont Young Leaders program through the American Soybean Association in 2016. As an ISA board member, Derika wants to continue wise use of soybean checkoff dollars, bring awareness to farmers on how checkoff dollars are used, apply her education expertise to improve ISA educational programs such as The Glass Barn, and use the knowledge gained from ISA to continue advocating for agriculture.
Eric Schwenke farms full time in Parke County, Ind. in a partnership of Bobridge Farms. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky. In addition, Schwenke graduated from the Kentucky Corn Growers Association’s Crop Observation and Research Education Program in 2017 and served as the Indiana representative for the American Soybean Association’s Corteva Agriscience Young Leaders Program this past spring. If elected, Schwenke hopes to bring the perspective of young and beginning farmers to the ISA board. He wants to help build new markets and value-added markets for soybeans. Schwenke also wants to ensure that checkoff funds are used responsibly.