United Soybean Board CEO Polly Ruhland plans to leave her position at the end of the year, ending her six-year tenure as the head staffer for the nation’s soybean checkoff.

USB announced the news in a press release Friday, crediting Ruhland with leading the checkoff on a “transformative journey marked by numerous accomplishments and milestones” during her tenure, including the creation and implementation of a new strategic plan with a focus on innovation, sustainability and market development.

USB Chair Meagan Kaiser called Ruhland a “visionary leader for USB during a very transformative time.”

“A true servant-leader, her biggest contribution and lasting legacy is building a first-class staff that we can rely on,” Kaiser said in a statement. “She inspires me and other farmer leaders to think big picture and will leave the board in a better place than when she started. We are grateful for her dedication to the U.S. soybean industry and American agriculture.”

Ruhland was named to the position in 2017 to replace longtime checkoff leader John Becherer. She came to USB from the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB), where she led the nation’s beef checkoff program for just over six years. Her career also includes other positions at CBB, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the North American Limousin Foundation and the American Gelbvieh Association.

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Ruhland’s departure is effective Dec. 31.

According to USB, Kaiser will appoint a search committee for Ruhland’s successor after the checkoff’s July board meeting. That committee plans to look for a “visionary leader who builds upon the board’s successes and continues driving the USB’s mission forward.”

USB hopes to hire a new CEO before the end of 2023.

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