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Kansas Soybean Association announces new CEO

The Kansas Soybean Association board of directors is pleased to name Kaleb Little as the incoming CEO of the organization.

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to serve the soybean farmers of my home state of Kansas and to return closer to my agricultural roots,” Little says.

Rossville native Little comes to Kansas Soybean from the National Biodiesel Board, where he was the communications director. NBB was his first career stop following graduation from Kansas State University in 2009, where he received an agricultural communications and journalism degree and a leadership studies minor. Little began as the communications and member specialist for NBB before moving up to communications manager in 2014 and on to communications director in 2018.

“Kaleb will be a good fit for our organization,” says Dwight Meyer, KSA president. “He shows enthusiasm and is ready to work. Our committee was looking for a candidate that is knowledgeable about the soybean industry and willing to learn and work with our staff and members.”

Under the direction of Kansas soybean boards of directors, the CEO manages and implements production and utilization research, domestic and international market development and education projects for KSC and federal and state lobbying programs for KSA.

“Coming from NBB has provided Kaleb with the knowledge and skillset needed to manage Kansas Soybean programs,” says Bob Haselwood, Kansas Soybean Commission chairman. “He has knowledge of the funding structure and experience managing complex budgets.”

Delivering strong return on soybean checkoff investment and maintaining KSA’s role in state and national agricultural policy efforts are Little’s top priorities.

Little succeeds Kenlon Johannes, who is retiring after an accomplished 40-year career in the soybean industry, including 20 years at Kansas Soybean.

“It will be an immense challenge to follow a tremendous leader like Kenlon,” Little says. “I am up to the challenge and have a great staff and board leadership in place at Kansas Soybean.”

While sad to close his decade-plus chapter at NBB, Little says, “this is a special opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

His first day in the office is January 4.

National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen shared congratulations:
“We hate to see Kaleb leave NBB but couldn’t imagine a better fit for him, his family, and his leadership mindset than this position at Kansas Soybean,” Rehagen said. “I am extremely confident he will succeed in this new role and will provide valuable leadership to the farmers of his home state and on the national level.”

Little served in various communications roles at NBB since March 2010, most recently as the director of communications since June 2018 where he lead a team of two staff members and 18 key contractors to execute the wide array of annual communications projects at NBB. He has led high-level communications strategy and messaging on behalf of the biodiesel industry and has been instrumental in the annual National Biodiesel Conference & Expo over the years.

Sources: Kansas Soybeans and National Biodiesel Board

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