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Marc Reiner stands in one of his soybean fields east of Tripp this past summer. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SD's Reiner appointed to national board

TRIPP, S.D. — Soybeans are always on Marc Reiner's mind.

And now even more so as the Tripp farmer was appointed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to serve as one of 19 farmer-leaders from across the country on the United Soybean Board (USB).

As a member of the USB, Reiner will be tasked with research, marketing and promotion efforts to maximize opportunities for soybean farmers in the United States.

And being a member of the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council for nearly a decade, as well as a fifth-generation farmer in Tripp, 42-year-old Reiner knows what he's talking about.

"It's really exciting for me," Reiner said. "I'm really interested to meet with farmers across the country and find out some of the same issues we're all working on, but there's also different issues that's specific to different regions in U.S. We're just a group of people who are dedicated and will work together to help the soybean industry move forward."

Reiner was appointed to the board after being nominated at the state level. He then discovered he was selected three weeks ago, and was sworn in last week.

And now a week later, he's still surprised. But despite his years of experience, the father of four is still new to the national board, and Reiner said he has "a lot of learning to do."

For USB, Reiner explained there are several key areas focused on, including supply and demand, the international market and sustainable farming. Reiner said in the coming weeks he will be assigned a specific area of focus, and he's anxious to find out what he was given.

One area that has become increasingly important, Reiner said, is the international market. Approximately 60 percent of South Dakota's soybeans are exported overseas, he said, and it's important the state and the rest of the country continue to make sure international markets know about the crop's availability.

But another important component is sustainability, which can be a broad topic, according to Reiner. It's important farmers grow more by utilizing minimal resources, but also to care for the land so "we can raise soybeans for a long time," Reiner said, but do it sustainability. But along with that, the board will ensure farmers and producers continue the ever-important job of raising beans, and can make a living doing it.

Reiner farms with his dad near Tripp, where they raise corn, soybeans and wheat. With the help of a couple employees, the family also has a cow-calf herd. Reiner and his wife, Carrie, have four children. And it's their future he's keeping in mind as he continues to serve on the board.

"I'm excited and hopefully I'll be able to provide some input and directions for the future," Reiner said. "I think that's one of the unique things is farmers having their own dollars there, and getting the opportunity to set an agenda on areas that are really important to them."

Representing South Dakota

Reiner is not alone in representing the state on a national level.

Earlier this month the USB announced Ethan soybean farmer Lewis Bainbridge was elected chair of the board. He previously served as USB vice chair.

"I know Lewis has worked in several leadership roles and just having the opportunity to serve as chairman and leading the board for a year is really unique. It definitely shows that South Dakota is an important part of the United Soybean Board and has leaders working hard at that level."

And the South Dakota soybean board agrees.

Matt Bainbridge, Lewis' son and fellow South Dakota farmer from Ethan, was elected chairman of the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotions Council in October.

He said, the leadership and experience Reiner has shown is what sets him apart.

"Marc has been a tremendous leader the whole time he's been on South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotions Council and I think he'll do a great job representing our state." Bainbridge said. "He has experience in raising livestock and raising soybeans so brings a unique perspective."