INDIANAPOLIS — Every year, board members at the Indiana Soybean Alliance help direct checkoff funds that develop, research and promote agriculture and support educational programs.

Four soybean farmers were elected to join a team of reelected board members at ISA. They will start their three-year term in December.

Newly elected members are Elaine Gillis of Dunkirk, Matthew Chapman of Springport, Craig Williams of Oaktown and Chris Cherry of New Palestine.

“With the ever-growing challenges and changes soybean farmers face each year, the work we do is important to ensure that the markets for our state’s soybeans continue to grow,” said Jane Ade Stevens, ISA chief executive officer.

“It’s vital for the success of Indiana’s soybean industry that we have involved farmers on the board to direct how farmer’s soybean checkoff dollars are used.”

New board member Chapman said he looks forward to helping make a difference through his involvement with ISA.

“My main goal is to educate the public,” he said. “I think this country really lacks knowledge, unfortunately, about where their food comes from, how it is produced. Therefore, they lack the respect for what we do.”

Chapman said that having a well-informed consumer is especially important in agricultural markets.

“You want someone who is confident in what you’re doing and appreciates it,” he said. “That goes for globally, as well. A lot of our business is other countries.”

While he is new to ISA, Chapman has been involved in agriculture his whole life. It runs in his blood, and he is several generations deep in the farming line of business.

After being involved with 4-H and FFA at Shenandoah High School, Chapman studied agricultural economics at Purdue University. He has been farming full-time ever since.

He grows corn, beans, wheat and hay and also helps run a swine finishing farm.

Chapman has been actively involved with Indiana Farm Bureau and served on the Young Farmer Committee.

His desire to be involved with ISA stems from his passion for spreading the word about ag.

“I feel like they are doing an excellent job promoting our soybean industry and views locally and globally,” he said. “We can grow all the soybeans we want, but if we can’t sell them, than what’s the point?

“We need to be telling our story every time we’re out with someone that doesn’t know we do.”

Chapman and the other three new board members will serve alongside the following reelected members: Jeanette Merritt, Peru; Kevin Wilson, Walton; Levi Huffman, Lafayette; and Mark Nigh, Shelbyville.