Staff Contacts

Contact Us

For more information about the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean checkoff or to learn more about Ohio’s soybean industry, please contact us.

Ohio Soybean Council
918 Proprietors Rd., Suite A
Worthington, OH 43085
Ph: 614-476-3100
Fax: 614-476-9576
Toll Free: 888-SOYOHIO

Kirk Merritt, Executive Director

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Kirk Merritt joined the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) in June 2007 as International Marketing Director, and also served as Director of Outreach and Programs for the OSC Foundation. He was promoted to Executive Director of OSC and the OSC Foundation in December 2009. Kirk works closely with the OSC Board of Trustees to advance OSC’s mission of enhancing profit opportunities for Ohio’s soybean farmers, and manages OSC’s staff and operations. From 2000 to 2007, Kirk was Director of the International Trade Division in the Ohio Department of Development, where he coordinated Ohio’s export and foreign investment programs, leading a team with offices in Ohio and eleven international markets. Prior to this, he worked for several years in international banking. Kirk earned a B.A. from Manchester University and a M.A. from The Ohio State University.

Tom Fontana, Director, Research & Education

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Tom Fontana, Director of Research and Education Ohio Soybean Council (OSC), joined OSC in 2005 as Director, New Use Development and assumed his current role in 2013. Tom has managed projects in the areas of new use research, product commercialization and marketing, international marketing, plant research and education. Currently his primary responsibility is managing projects in the areas of plant research, soybean agronomy, education and water quality. He also serves as Director, Programs and Development, for the Ohio Soybean Council Foundation. Tom has over 40 years of professional experience in sales, finance, project management and public relations. He holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University and a M.B.A. from Xavier University.

Jennifer Coleman, Communications Director

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Jennifer Coleman joined the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) in 2007 as Communications Coordinator and was responsible for content development and assisted in the management of communication activities. In 2010, Jennifer was promoted to her current position, Director of Communications. She is now responsible for managing all communication programs and budgets including media relations, communication research, farmer awareness campaigns and consumer outreach. Prior to joining OSC, Jennifer worked at Hawkins Research, Inc., a software company in Murray, Kentucky. She also worked as a teaching and research assistant in the Organizational Communication Department at Murray State University. Jennifer holds a B.S. and M.S. in Organizational Communication from Murray State University.

Barry McGraw, Director, Product Development & Commercialization

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Barry McGraw joined the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) in 2013 and is responsible for leading OSC’s soy biobased research and commercialization program. Barry has 15 years of experience with Battelle, in program management, engineering and marketing. He played a key role on Battelle’s biobased materials team, working in development and commercialization of technologies that won four R&D 100 awards, in cooperation with OSC. He also worked on Battelle’s national security team in technology areas such as critical infrastructure, environmental challenges, information systems and defense technology. Since 2014, Barry has helped OSC win 3 R&D 100 awards and reach a milestone with respect to royalty payment from licensing soy biobased technologies. Barry earned a B.S. in Plastics Engineering from Shawnee State University, as well as Project Management Professional and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Management certification.

Katie Bauer, Global Demand and Market Development Coordinator

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Katie Bauer joined the Ohio Soybean Council in 2012 as the Communications & Project Coordinator, where she was responsible for media relations, farmer outreach and the Ohio Soybean News magazine. Since 2018, Katie started a new position as the Global Demand and Market Development Coordinator. She manages projects in the areas of export promotion, market access, transportation infrastructure and logistics, as well as value and supply sustainability. she worked as the Communications & Project Coordinator for OSC from 2012-2018. Prior to joining OSC full-time, Katie completed an internship with OSC and worked as an Admissions Assistant at Wittenberg University. Katie received a B.A. in Communication from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

Carla DeBoard, Operations Manager

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Carla DeBoard joined the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Soybean Association as the Accounting Associate in 2002. Carla manages OSC’s web-based project management system, the national soybean checkoff program for Ohio and all financial budgeting and transactions. She was previously employed with the Ohio Farm Bureau as the staff Accountant. Carla has over 20 years of experience in the accounting field and received a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. from Franklin University.

Angela Cook, Administrative & Planning Assistant

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Angela joined the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Soybean Association in 2014 as the Administrative and Planning Assistant. She is responsible for planning board meetings, event planning, travel arrangements and office administrative duties. Angela previously worked as a Legal Secretary and Administrative Assistant for 10TV News. Angela brings over 25 years in Legal Secretary and Administrative Assistant experience.


Emilie Regula Hancock, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Emilie joined the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) as the Marketing & Outreach Coordinator in May 2017. She assists with OSC’s marketing projects related to water quality, animal agriculture, biodiesel, and coordinates outreach to key industry partners. Emilie joins OSC after several years of legislative experience with the Ohio Senate and the Ohio Treasurer of State. She earned a degree in Political Science from the University of Akron.

Julia Brown, Communications & Project Coordinator

Phone: 614-476-3100 Fax: 614-476-9576 Julia Brown joined the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) in July 2018 as the Communications & Project Coordinator. She is responsible for day-to-day project management and assists with communication, education and marketing efforts. Julia assists with farmer outreach campaigns, media relations, consumer outreach and manages the Ohio Soybean News magazine, Ohio Soybean website and Ohio Soybean Council Foundation scholarship program. Before her time at OSC, Julia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.