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United Soybean Board Announces Lucas Lentsch as Incoming CEO

The United Soybean Board (USB) is pleased to announce that Lucas Lentsch will join the organization as its Chief Executive Officer starting January 1, 2024. Lentsch currently serves on the Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) leadership team, which manages the national dairy checkoff. USB’s board of farmer-leaders, representing more than 30 states, ratified the decision at its December board meeting.

“Lucas Lentsch is the right leader, at the right time, to continue the meaningful work of the soy checkoff and fulfill our vision of delivering sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day,” said Meagan Kaiser, outgoing chair of the United Soybean Board and CEO Selection Committee Chair. “He is a true thought leader and collaborator with a wealth of checkoff program knowledge, deep agricultural roots, and comprehensive experience across the farm-to-food value chain.”

Growing up on his family’s farm in South Dakota, promoting agriculture and serving farmers has always remained Lentsch’s true north. As an Executive Vice President at DMI, Lentsch liaised between national and local checkoff organizations, nationwide. He previously served as CEO at Midwest Dairy, a 10-state region. Lentsch was the South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture from 2013 to 2016 and is a proud Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving as a Commanding Officer with the Army National Guard. Lentsch holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from South Dakota State University.

Lentsch, alongside USB board members, staff, and partners, remarks, “American agriculture has never been stronger, with soy playing a vital and proven role across sectors – be it in animal agriculture, food supply chains, or advancing energy independence through biofuels. The soy checkoff is the farmer’s essential voice in the marketplace. It will be a privilege to serve America’s soybean farmers and continue driving value through sustainable soy solutions.”

The USB board members and staff outlined their CEO criteria, emphasizing leadership, strategic acumen, adept staff and program management, and a strong connection to agriculture and soy. In interviews with the Search and Selection Committees—comprising farmer-leaders—Lentsch surpassed these expectations. The executive search firm Kincannon & Reed facilitated the selection process.

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