Monday, December 30, 2013

Rumorville: Ludwig Out at MO Soybean

I have multiple sources saying that Dale Ludwig is out at Missouri Soybean Association, though there has been no official statement from the organization.  In fact, one source says that JP Dunn, Director of Field Services, is also gone.  Ludwig is still listed on website as director of the Soybean’s affiliate organization, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

Because we’re in the realm of rumors here, there’s no clear answer why Ludwig would have exited from organization.  However it sounds like there was a split on the board, and Ludwig as on the losing end of the power struggle.

According to the organization’s 2012 990 form, Ludwig’s salary was $234,000 with an additional $45,937 in other compensation.

The bigger picture, according to one observer: “The ramifications for this will be with Missouri Farmers Care, a group that Soybean was the heart and soul of because of Ludwig. It remains to be seen if it (continues to lead on issues), because the Farm Bureau is definitely against the idea of MFC…”

The Bigger Picture

I’m not exactly an “ag guy,” so take this sketch with a grain of salt, but here’s the landscape against which the Ludwig exit is taking place…

In 2010, animal rights activists put the anti-puppy mills petition on the ballot.  It freaked out some corners of the farming community who feared that the language would eventually be used to regulate their hog farming, or cattle farming etc.

Many of these folks also felt that the Farm Bureau, with its cumbersome organizational structure, was slow to assess and counter the threat.  They mobilized through a new organization, Missouri Farmers Care.  The muscle behind MFC comes from the various commodity industry groups – of which Soybean is one.  Many farmers give greater loyalty to these individual associations to which their crops are related than they do to the Farm Bureau. 

Although the Farm Bureau is a member of MFC, it’s likely they also view MFC as a rival, both for membership, and within the capitol advancing an agenda more aggressively.

So the larger question on Ludwig’s exit is whether it helps tips the balance of power back to Farm Bureau. 

Presidential Honors

President Barack Obama named 102 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.  The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, ceremony in the coming year.  Among them was Dr. Andrew Yoo, Washington University School of Medicine.

And Obama also named  102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Among them were: Laura Parn, Wentzville School District (Math), and Ragan Webb, Fairview Elementary School in Columbia (Science).

eMailbag: Poll Missed Dunn

“On your poll you should have thought about putting Chris Dunn on it. Sen. Rob Schaaf may not be popular, but he is relevant and that is because of the work Chris has put in. He works for the most unpopular Senator in the building and yet is personally very respected by both chambers. He isn’t flashy, but is way more effective and influential than others in the poll…”

Help Wanted

Jackson County seeks assistant prosecuting attorney. “Responsible for maintaining a criminal docket of 20-30 felony and misdemeanor cases.”  See ad here.

Missouri seeks assistant public defender. “Provide legal representation to indigent clients charged with criminal offenses facing the possibility of incarceration.”  See ad here.

Missouri Department of Insurance seeks enforcement counsel.  “Responsible for providing legal advice to and legal representation for Department, especially the Insurance Divisions.”  See ad here.

Callaway County seeks assistant prosecuting attorney.  See ad here.

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Morris - $12,000 from Family Pharmacy of Missouri LLC.

Citizens for Morris - $12,000 from Family Pharmacy Inc.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $100,000 from John Wright Farms LLC.

Citizens for Bradbury - $5,001 from Cole Bradbury.

Notes on Money

What’s with John Wright’s $100K deposit?  Says one observer: “I think he’s about as certain to be the Dem candidate for Treasurer in 2016 as you can be three years out…”


Happy birthday to Irl Scissors (43), and Martin Casas (33).

Holiday Week - Again

No Update on Wednesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day).