Stephen Sothmann, Partner
Stephen (Steve) Sothmann is a partner with DTB AgriTrade LLP, joining the firm in 2024. A trade lawyer by training, Steve has held key leadership positions at a variety of agricultural trade industry associations, developing a deep understanding of the U.S. agricultural trade policy landscape along the way. A senior government relations professional, he has a wealth of success advancing the interests of global trade-dependent agribusinesses and associations, employing skills in advocacy, international trade, market expansion, and grant funding.
Prior to joining DTB Agritrade, Steve served for over a decade in chief executive roles at the Meat Import Council of America (MICA) and the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA). Both organizations are close affiliates of the Meat Institute, where Steve was also a senior staff member.
As President of LHCA, Steve advocated for the interests of the U.S. hide and leather industry, developing policy and implementation strategies for subjects ranging from international trade and manufacturing, to sustainability and media relations. In this role, he served as the architect for a merger of two historical industry trade associations, successfully consolidating industry interests in order to increase advocacy efforts and ensure long-term viability for the group. Steve also managed LHCA’s foreign market development programs, where he secured $2+ million in annual U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant funding, an 800% increase since 2013, to develop export markets for U.S. products.
With MICA, Steve was the Executive Director and primary representative for the policy interests of the $20 billion imported meat and poultry industry in Washington D.C. In this role, Steve was the industry’s chief policy advocate, representing industry positions in front of key domestic and foreign governments and industry stakeholders. In this capacity he also served two terms as a Board Member on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (the Beef Checkoff).
Steve has served three terms as a member of the Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee (ATAC), a highly selective advisory committee that advises the Secretary of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on agricultural trade issues. He was a two term Executive Committee Member with the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC), and held a number of leadership positions with international industry and trade organizations.
Early in his career, Sothmann served as a member of the legislative staff of United States Senator Evan Bayh from Indiana, covering a broad range of economic issues. A native of the state of Indiana, Sothmann received a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University, a Master of Business Administration from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and Juris Doctor from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.