Wautoma Farmer Reelected As WSA President

Pictured: WSA held its annual meeting on Feb. 1. Sara Stelter (front row, second to right) was reelected president.

On the evening before its annual meeting during the Wisconsin Corn·Soy Expo, the Wisconsin Soybean Association welcomed farmer leaders, members, and industry partners to the Kalahari Resort for a reception honoring the organization’s half-century advocating in the policy halls of Madison and Washington, D.C.

“It was a wonderful event to highlight what WSA has done on behalf of the soybean industry in Wisconsin and to thank our supporters who helped make this happen,” WSA President Sara Stelter said. “This anniversary also gave us a chance to look at what we can accomplish in the future.”

A special guest appeared for the reception and Thursday’s board meeting: Josh Gackle, a North Dakota farmer who serves as president of the American Soybean Association, recognized the legislative achievements of WSA. Wisconsin became an ASA state affiliate in 1973, the same year WSA formed to protect the interest of the state’s soybean farmers.

With Wisconsin’s legislative session wrapping up within weeks, WSA finalized its 2024 legislative agenda during the annual meeting. Through a grassroots process that welcomes input from all active members, WSA approved 2024 resolutions, including policies related to:

  • Infrastructure
  • Conservation
  • Crop protection
  • Biodiesel
  • Trade policy
  • Animal agriculture
  • Improving market access
  • Protecting the soybean checkoff

Stelter earned the confidence of her peers on the board. As such, voters unanimously reelected her to serve a second year as WSA president. Stelter farms in Waushara County and grows soybeans, corn, beef and processed vegetables for canning companies.

“It’s an honor to have the endorsement of my colleagues,” she said. ‘I’m pleased with the work we’ve done together and look forward to seeing how we can continue to improve in the year ahead.”

WSA’s officer team, which includes Vice President Doug Rebout, Treasurer Matt Rehberg, and Secretary Daniel Linse, remains unchanged.

The board elected Katie Kaczor as one of WSA’s industry directors. Kaczor replaces Evan Dalldorf, who departed the board after one year. Kaczor is a district sales manager with Legacy Seeds.

WSA also announced a political action committee to contribute to legislative candidates committed to supporting farm-friendly policies. Ryan Smith, WSA’s manager of strategic programs, spearheaded the PAC.

“This (PAC) shows we want to have our own voice,” Smith said. “We’re making a statement that we want a seat at the table.”

Wisconsin will next participate in ASA’s Delegate Session at the upcoming Commodity Classic Feb. 28-March 2 in Houston. WSA directors and Don Lutz and Tanner Johnson, who represent Wisconsin on ASA, will head to Washington, D.C., from March 12-14 for ASA board meetings and Hill Visits. The full WSA board will hold its next meeting in June.