Topeka, Kansas — 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.
Hails from Rossville, Kansas.
Kansas State University graduate.
Currently communications director for the National Biodiesel Board.
Fun fact: Kaleb has run five half-marathons and many shorter races in the last eight years.
The Kansas Soybean Association, headquartered in Topeka, is the voice and advocate on local, state, national and international issues of importance to Kansas’ 16,000 soybean farms. Founded in 1973, its advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary memberships of farmers and industry supporters. It also is the primary, administrative contractor to the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Kansas Soybean Commission, established in 1977, includes nine volunteer farmer-commissioners who are elected by their peers. They oversee investments of the legislated “soybean checkoff” assessment in research, consumer information, market development, industry relations and farmer outreach to improve the profit opportunities for all Kansas soybean farmers.