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#WomenInAg: Chantel Rammel, CPA, COO of Indiana Soybean Alliance


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When Chantel Rammel decided to accept a full-ride scholarship to the University of Toledo, there was one catch: she had to major in accounting. Without any fellow CPAs in the family, the first-generation college student opted to give accounting a try and it has worked out well. Her lengthy career is rich with both corporate and nonprofit experience; however, it was her role as as a Senior Manager with Clifton Gunderson LLP that allowed her to transition her focus to nonprofits.


“Organizations that are making a difference in the world in some way, shape or form really matter to me,” says Chantel. “Agriculture really is at the heart of that. Working for farmers who do something that’s important to themselves, the world and their families, makes each day rewarding for me.”


Chantel brings her decades of expertise in accounting and operational processes, team leadership and mentoring, to her current role as Chief Operating Officer of the Indiana Soybean Alliance in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Land Values sat down with Chantel to learn more about what she does for the Indiana Soybean Alliance, why joining professional organizations are beneficial and some life advice everyone could follow.


Land Values (LV): How long have you been Chief Operating Officer of the Indiana Soybean Alliance?


Chantel Rammel (CR): I’ve been in the role for six years.  I started as the Senior Director of Corporate Services and the role evolved into Chief Operating Officer due to the many operational areas of responsibility including finance, building management, compliance with State and Federal checkoff laws, human resources, and information technology. The job is multi-faceted. Our organization has staff of about 20 employees as well as many outside contractors. The job allows me to do a diverse set of activities on a daily basis. No day is the same.

LV: Walk us through a typical day.


CR: It depends on the time of the year. For instance, we just came through year-end so I made sure our team completed the necessary audited financial statements and reports. Last week, I worked with our CEO to also determine raises and complete performance evaluations. The United Soybean Board recently issued a new compliance manual and we’ve been working to update our internal compliance manuals. I also sign all of the contracts for the organization for projects over $25,000 and manage our Request for Concept process. I negotiate with tenants in our building and work on space planning within out office. The work all varies based on the day.


LV: What professional or service organizations are you involved with?


CR: The agriculture community is a very close-knit community. I work closely with Purdue and their College of Agriculture and I’ve established good networking relationships with many of the leaders of Soybean and Corn checkoff organizations across the country. For example, in the spring, I was able to lead the administration session for other soybean administrative professionals. We were able to share best practices of what we do in our organizations and hopefully help each with similar issues we face on a daily basis.


I’ve also been involved in the Indiana CPA Society and have presented on financial topics for United Way organizations. Over the years, I have volunteered with Girls, Inc., Christamore House, St. Vincent DePaul, Joy’s House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Indy Reads and Coburn Place.  I have served as a board member for Volunteers of America and as treasurer for our PTA organization at my kids’ elementary school.


LV: What types of organizations would you recommend a young professional become involved with?


CR: If they are accountants, I would recommend joining the Indiana CPA Society. If they are in the nonprofit space, I would suggest the Indiana Society of Association Executives or American Society of Association Executives. For those with an agricultural focus, ACI Women in Agribusiness is a great organization.


I would also suggest becoming active in your University’s alumni association. That is a good place to network. Other organizations to note include the National or State Future Farmers of America (FFA). Keep in touch with their programs as they often look for volunteers for certain roles which can be great networking opportunities. There’s also the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program, which you have to apply for, but is specifically for those who are involved in agriculture or related fields and want to improve their leadership skills.


I would also recommend becoming involved in at least one social service organization. Volunteer for an organization you are passionate about. There is nothing better than helping others.


LV: Obviously, you didn’t know that accounting scholarship or your career was going to put you on this specific career trajectory. Is there something you wish you could go back and tell yourself? A piece of advice, some wisdom, something that you wish you’d known going into this since you now have some hindsight?


CR: Always have confidence in yourself. Be grateful. You don’t have to be happy every day, but you can be content with who you are and what you’re doing. Prioritize what’s important to you and that can change depending on where you are in your career and in life.


I tell both of my daughters that life is really about resilience. It’s being able to get back out there when things don’t go your way. Sports taught me that valuable lesson. [Chantel served as co-captain of the University of Toledo’s varsity tennis team.]


It’s also important to build relationships and know you can’t do it all yourself. That’s a hard lesson to learn because we all want to be self-sufficient. While you can do your best to control your destiny, you can’t plan or anticipate everything that may happen in life, which is something I didn’t understand when I was 21.


Life experience gives you empathy and is something young professionals gain over time. Seek out mentors you can emulate and just do your best each and every day.

More Land Value. 

Since 1977, Geswein Farm & Land Real Estate has helped farm families, investors, and landowners through advising, management, selling, and buying land. If you’re considering a farm sale through listing or auction, there’s never been a better time. Land values are at historically high levels.



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Kristen A. Schmitt


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Indiana Soybean Alliance https://indianasoybean.com/

U.S. Soybean Export Council https://ussec.org/