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Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council Announce Staff Changes

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) recently welcomed Adam Ward as the new OSA executive director and OSC director of marketing and outreach.  Rocky Black, OSC director of bioproducts utilization, will now also serve as OSA senior policy advisor.  Jennifer Coleman, former OSC communications coordinator, has been promoted to OSC communications director.

These staff changes follow the departure of Jamie Butts, who had served as OSA executive director and OSC communications director.  After six years with OSA and OSC, Butts left the organizations to pursue an opportunity with Pioneer Hi-Bred.

As executive director of OSA, Ward will lead the state and federal policy efforts and statewide membership program, as well as OSA’s producer education initiatives.  As OSC director of marketing and outreach, Ward will manage domestic marketing initiatives including areas such as animal agriculture and soy biodiesel.  He will also coordinate OSC’s industry outreach activities.

Ward most recently served as the assistant to Gov. Strickland’s Energy Advisor at the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority.  Prior to that he was acting deputy director and legislative director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and also worked as a legislative aide in the Ohio General Assembly.  Ward is a graduate of Capital University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science.

“The Ohio Soybean Association is excited to have Adam Ward as our new executive director,” said Jeff Wuebker, OSA president and Darke County soybean farmer.  “Adam brings a wealth of agricultural policy experience to our association which will help propel soybean policy at the state and national levels.  We look forward to the vision he will give to OSA and our board.”

As OSA senior policy advisor, Black will draw upon his extensive background in policy and government affairs to support OSA’s state and federal policy efforts.  Black was instrumental in the drive to create a biopreferred purchasing policy in Ohio, which resulted in Senate Bill 131 being signed into law by Gov. Strickland in 2010.  Prior to joining OSC in 2008, Black held several policy development positions in state government and the private sector.  Black will continue in his role as OSC director of bioproducts utilization.

“We are very proud to welcome Adam to the staff,” said Keith Kemp, OSC chairman and Preble County soybean farmer.  “Along with the new roles for Rocky and Jennifer, both organizations have an excellent team in place.  This team will lead soybean checkoff initiatives into the future and help keep all Ohio soybean farmers profitable.”

Coleman will serve as communications director of OSC, leading the efforts to increase awareness of the impact of the Ohio soybean checkoff.  Since joining OSC in 2007, Coleman has helped coordinate OSC publications and media relations, and has managed OSC’s participation in events such as the Ohio State Fair and Farm Science Review.  Coleman holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organizational communication from Murray State University.

“With the addition of Adam Ward, and new roles for Rocky Black and Jennifer Coleman, I am confident we have the team in place to maximize profit opportunities for Ohio soybean farmers,” said Kirk Merritt, executive director of OSC.  “We look forward to continuing to work with our boards to pursue productive checkoff investments and an effective policy agenda.”

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