The 2023 MCIA Annual Meeting, which was held Thursday, January 12, 2023, included an election to fill five Category A Director seats on the MCIA Board of Directors. Category A directors serve 3-year terms of office. MCIA members re-elected incumbent board members Brent Benike (District 1) and Grant Mehring (Related Industry). In addition, members elected three persons who are new to the MCIA Board: Wes Olmschenk (District 2), Ryan Anderson (District 3), and Jake Noll (Related Industry). Ryan Anderson will serve the remaining one year of a vacant position. In addition to the election of the aforementioned directors, members also ratified the nomination of incumbent Nancy Ehlke as the board’s Category B Director (who is nominated by the Director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station to serve a one-year term of office).
Background information about the new board directors follows.
Wes Olmschenk (District 2) grew up on and is still actively part of a family farm in central Minnesota. Wes earned a BA in economics from St. John’s University and an MBA from Drake University. His professional experience includes work with Land O’Lakes and 1-800-GOT-JUNK. He currently serves as director of products for MNL Inc. In that role, Wes is involved with day-to-day operations management of all native seed and plant products, from production to sales.
Wes lives near St. Joseph, Minnesota, with his wife and their three children. Outside of work, he enjoys anything outdoors, from hunting and fishing to travel, hiking, and landscaping.
Ryan Anderson (District 3) grew up on a dairy farm in southwest Minnesota, where they also raised corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. For the past 21 years he has worked for Corteva/Pioneer at the Jackson, Minnesota, location. He has held roles in Seed Production Operations, Field Operations, and Agronomy.
In addition to having a bachelor’s degree in business management, he is a Certified Crop Adviser and an FAA-licensed UAV Pilot. A graduate of the Dale Carnegie course, Ryan has also completed training in the Six Sigma and Lean Practitioner programs, which center around workplace organization and efficiency. He and his wife have two daughters, a high school senior and a junior in college.
Jake Noll (Related Industry) grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and spent the summers helping his grandfather on the family farm and seed business in Foxhome, Minnesota . The family seed business dates back over 130 years to 1889, and Jake represents the 5th generation.
After college, Jake became involved with managing and owning a home construction business with his brother and pursued that for several years.
In 2008, Jake had the opportunity to join the family seed business (Friederichs Seed) as an owner and managing president. Over the next several years, Jake was able to facilitate a major expansion and transition of the business from certified farmer seeds to a high-quality dedicated food grade soybean custom processing company. During this period, Friederichs Seed became a trusted co-packer to Richland IFC, amongst others.
In 2021, Jake accepted the offer to join Richland IFC as General Manager, overseeing company operations, crop production, logistics, and general customer support.