Pickens County Alabama grower Annie Dee has been appointed to the United Soybean Board by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Pat Buck of Sumter County was elected as an alternate board member.
"These appointees represent a cross section of the soybean industry, and I am confident they will serve the soybean producers well," said Vilsack.
Dee is a member of the Pickens County Farmers Federation board of directors and serves as chairman of the county’s Equine Committee. She previously served on the Federation’s State Wheat and Feed Grains Committee.
She operates a 10,000-acre farm and ranch alongside her family where, in addition to soybeans, they raise corn, wheat, rye, sunflowers, cattle and timber.
“I have a passion for agriculture production,” Dee said. “I love raising crops, especially harvesting. I run the combine, and I realize that is the only part of the farming process that actually brings the money in.”
Dee said she likes to focus on improvements in soil fertility and quality, adding that her farm has used cover crops and no-till planting to build organic matter in the soil. Dee often combines her love of horseback riding with work on the farm.
“When I’m not harvesting crops, I spend lots of days riding a horse moving cattle or getting cattle up to work,” she said.
Animal industries degree from Clemson
Dee holds a degree in animal industries from Clemson University.
She has three children: Rachel, 27, an activities director at an assisted living facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Seth, 25, who lives and works on the farm alongside his wife, Jodie, and their son, Mason; and Jesse, 25, who also works on the farm. Jesse is married to Leslie, and they have two children, Clay (6) and Carly (4).
The family attends the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Macon, Miss. Dee’s husband, Ed Sikora, is a plant pathologist at Auburn University.
According to the most recent data from USDA, soybean acreage has more than doubled in Alabama since 2000, increasing from 190,000 acres in 2000 to more than 440,000 acres in 2009. That acreage had a value of nearly $179 million to the state’s economy.
Soybean production is vital to the U.S. economy as well. In 2010, according to USDA statistics, soybean exports accounted for 16 percent of the value of all U.S. agricultural exports that year.
The secretary selected the appointees from soybean producers nominated by qualified state soybean boards. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning December 2011. The board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act
The mandatory soybean research and promotion program is funded at the rate of one-half of 1 percent of the net market price of the soybeans purchased.
The board's goal is to strengthen the position of soybeans in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for soybeans and soybean products. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the board.
Other board members appointed by Vilsack include Robert L. Stobaugh, Arkansas; James L. Stillman, Iowa; Larry K. Marek, Iowa; Dwain L. Ford, Illinois; Michael A. Beard, Indiana; Craig M. Gigstad, Kansas; Keith N. Tapp, Kentucky; Eugene L. Lowe, III, Maryland; R. Alan Moore, Michigan; Scott G. Singlestad, Minnesota; J. Willard Spargo, Missouri; James D. Sneed, Mississippi; Loyd L. Pointer, Nebraska; Daniel J. Corcoran, Ohio; Ellie W. Green, Jr., South Carolina; Robert J. Metz, South Dakota; John R. Butler, Tennessee; and Tom P. Rotello, Sr., Texas.
Other alternate members appointed include Scotty J. Herriman of Oklahoma and Fitzhugh L. Bethea, III of South Carolina.