Ruhland named new United Soybean Board CEO

Polly Ruhland, currently CEO of Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board, will start her tenure in November.

After an intensive search by a farmer-led team, the United Soybean Board (USB) has named Polly Ruhland as its new chief executive officer, effective Nov. 1, 2017.

“Polly exceeded all of the attributes for what we, as a board, were looking for in a new CEO to lead us into the future,” said USB chair John Motter, a soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio. “Polly brings a platform of experience and expertise that parallels the opportunities and challenges facing the soy industry: building demand in domestic and global markets, creating consensus throughout the commodity supply chain, solidifying partnerships with national and state organizations and being an industry catalyst. I am confident that, under her leadership, the soy checkoff will accelerate our vision of advancing Innovation Beyond the Bushel.”

Ruhland has provided executive management expertise to the agricultural community for many years. She brings an extensive background in agricultural nonprofit management, strategic planning, communications and regulatory compliance to her position serving the directors of USB and the larger soybean community. Ruhland currently serves as CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board.

She graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor degree in English and communications and received a master’s degree in agriculture from Colorado State University. She also did post-graduate work at the Ph.D. level in agriculture and rural sociology with an emphasis on grower decision-making in cooperative structures.

Ruhland has served as chair of the Commodity CEO Roundtable, a group of CEOs involved in research, promotion and marketing programs. She is an Eisenhower Fellow and a certified mediator and holds a professional certificate in the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.

In accepting the position, Ruhland said, “USB’s innovation and agriculture industry leadership attracted me to this opportunity. I am looking forward to working alongside farmer leaders and organizational partners to take USB into a bright future.”

USB remains focused on improving farmers' profit opportunities through continuous improvement in soybean meal, oil and sustainability by leveraging checkoff resources through strategic partnerships.  

John Becherer, current CEO of USB, served the board for the last 23 years and positioned the soy checkoff for even greater successes in the future. John will work with USB to support the transition and the incoming CEO until his retirement at the end of the year.

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