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BEND, Ore. — Rhonda Larson, East Grand Forks, Minn., started her year as 2022/23 Chairperson of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors June 8, 2022, at their annual meeting in Bend, Ore.  Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla., took his position as Vice Chairman. Clark Hamilton, Ririe, Idaho, began his year as Secretary-Treasurer. Darren Padget, Grass Valley, Ore., will serve one year as USW Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

“I want to thank the entire wheat family for their support,” Larson said to the directors. “We heard here about all the challenges we face. But with your help, I look forward to representing American wheat farmers in overseas markets.”

2020/2022 USW Chairman Darren Padget (R) passes the gavel to 2022/23 USW Chairperson Rhonda Larson at the 2022 USW Summer Board Meeting.

She will soon represent growers at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years, serving as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Honored Service

Padget was honored at a reception June 7, 2022, for his service as USW Chairman, which covered two years because of pandemic travel restrictions.

“Considering Darren’s many years of service it would be hard to measure all the positive things he has done to help wheat farm families here and across the country,” said Oregon Wheat Commission CEO Amanda Hoey.

Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and is the Vice Chairman of the Wheat Marketing Center board of directors. He is a commissioner with the Oregon Wheat Commission.

Group photo of the 2022/23 USW Officers

2022/23 USW Officers. (L-R) Michael Peters, Okarche, Okla., Vice Chairman, Darren Padget, Grass Valley, Ore., Past Chairman; Rhonda Larson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Chairperson; Clark Hamilton, Ririe, Idaho, Secretary-Treasurer; and Vince Peterson, USW President.

USW Vice Chairman Peters serves on the Mid-Oklahoma Coop board of directors and on the Plains Partners Coop Board, a division of CHS, and is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission.

USW Secretary-Treasurer Hamilton served as an executive officer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), including as president, and has been a board member of Ririe Grain and Feed Cooperative, Inc., for several years. He is currently one of five wheat growers appointed as a commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission and served as chair of that organization.

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the organization’s 2022/23 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Jan. 14, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Clark Hamilton of Ririe, Ida., as Secretary-Treasurer; Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla., as Vice Chairman; and Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Chairperson. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2022. Current Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., will become Past Chairman at that time. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

Group photo of the 2022/23 USW Officers

2022/23 USW Officers. (L-R) Michael Peters, Okarche, Okla., Vice Chairman-Elect, Darren Padget, Grass Valley, Ore., Past Chairman-Elect; Rhonda Larson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Chairperson-Elect; Clark Hamilton, Ririe, Idaho, Secretary-Treasurer-Elect; and Vince Peterson, USW President.

“I decided to run for office because I sincerely believe that the success and profitability of wheat growers depends on developing and protecting our export markets,” Hamilton said. “Growers have to be involved because our relationships with overseas customers are critical in this increasingly competitive global market where U.S. wheat is rarely the lowest cost source. Going forward, I am going to listen to our customers to ensure USW is adapting to meet their needs. And I am going to listen to USW staff to be sure the Board of Directors is providing the guidance and support they need to carry out the organization’s mission.”

Portrait Clark Hamilton

Clark Hamilton, a wheat farmer from Ririe, Idaho, was elected Jan. 14, 2022, as the next Secretary-Treasurer of U.S. Wheat Associates.

Hamilton and his wife, Kristy own Hamilton Triple C Farms, a 6,000-acre diversified family farm in eastern Idaho, that they operate with their two sons. They grow four specific wheat classes as well as barley, potatoes, pulses, and alfalfa.

Hamilton spent several years serving and representing Idaho wheat and barley farmers as an executive officer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), including one year as president, and has been a board member of Ririe Grain and Feed Cooperative, Inc., for several years. While serving in those roles, he became very familiar with the local, state and national issues impacting agriculture and particularly wheat. He is currently one of five wheat growers appointed as a commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission and served as chair of that organization. Hamilton remains active in leadership roles in his church and community.

Michael Peters is a farmer and rancher growing hard red winter wheat and canola, and grazing stocker cattle on wheat. He serves on the Mid-Oklahoma Coop board of directors and on the Plains Partners Coop Board, a division of CHS, and is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He has participated in several farm leadership programs sponsored by CHS and the National Wheat Foundation. Peters and his wife Linda have two sons who work with him and his father on their farm.

Rhonda Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and engaged full-time in the operation for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years; serving as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. As a USW director, she served on the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Budget Committee. Larson received a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a juris doctor’s degree in law from the University of North Dakota.

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years. He is a commissioner with the Oregon Wheat Commission.

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – Each year farmers across the United States grow enough wheat to fill America’s tables and still have about half their crop to share with the world. To help promote all six classes of American wheat overseas, 17 state wheat commissions provide funding from checkoff programs to U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). Each commission appoints farmers to serve on the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors.

In late June, they traveled to America’s Music City for their summer meeting. Over three days in Nashville, Tenn., the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors met in committee and together to discuss topics like wheat grading standards for hard white wheat, wheat quality improvement and USW’s next budget. USW President Vince Peterson said the decision to hold the annual event in person added a positive lift to the meeting.

“Well, for us, it was a breath of fresh air,” Peterson said. “We’ve had four meetings now during the COVID environment. The first one, a year ago from today, was fully virtual. We went to two hybrid meetings where we had some in-person and some virtual portions, and this was the first back to fully in-person. I think it was a great venue, a great place. I think we rekindled some of that comradery that the industry really thrives on and needs. I think it was a highly successful get-together.”

USW Board of Directors Officers

USW President Vince Peterson, left, makes a point at the USW 2021 Summer Board of Directors meeting in Nashville, Tenn. He is joined by Vice Chair Rhonda Larson of Minnesota and Secretary-Treasurer Michael Peters of Oklahoma.

USW Director Cory Kress, a farmer from southeast Idaho and member of the Idaho Wheat Commission discussed the importance of USW’s effort to build demand for U.S. wheat overseas and how crucial it is to the sustainability of his farm.

“In America, we often forget how blessed we are to produce way more food than we need to feed our own citizens in this country. What that means as a wheat farmer is a good portion of my crop has to end up on somebody else’s dinner table in another country.” Kress said. “I don’t think that’s possible without USW and our partnerships with the various government agencies to promote our products and to ensure they compete with other countries’ products, to make sure that we have a place on their food menu. It’s imperative for the sustainability of my farm that we export a lot of what we produce. Otherwise, we just have no market, no hope to continue on this. It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is that we promote our ag products overseas.”

Idaho farmer Cory Kress at the USW Board of Directors meeting.

Idaho farmer Cory Kress represents the Idaho Wheat Commission as a USW Director.

These wheat industry leaders also monitor and discuss trade policies that have the potential to build or block market access. Neal Fisher, Executive Director of the North Dakota Wheat Commission in Bismarck, N.D., discussed the importance these conversations have on the meeting.

We’ve seen the settlement of the Airbus-Boeing dispute, for example, which goes right into our wheelhouse in spring wheat, but it’s good for all wheat farmers as well because we have some strong demand there in the UK and the European Union and in Italy and Spain, for example” Fisher said. “But without that, that would shrink away pretty fast. We’re looking for other market access as well as we look forward to the year and the years to come.”

Neal Fisher, Executive Director, North Dakota Wheat Commission at the USW Board of Directors meeting

Neal Fisher, Executive Director, North Dakota Wheat Commission.

The USW Board of Directors plan to meet again in Kansas City, Missouri, this November.

U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors seated new officers at a virtual annual meeting July 17, 2020. USW is the export market development organization representing U.S. wheat farmers.

USW officers for 2020/21 are: Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore.; Vice Chairperson Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn.; Secretary-Treasurer Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla.; and Past Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the January 2020 board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

(L to R): Michael Peters, Oklahoma; Rhonda Larson, Minnesota; Darren Padget, Oregon; Doug Goyings, Ohio; Vince Peterson, USW. Photo taken after officer elections at the 2020 USW Winter Board Meeting in January.

“We are all very disappointed that we could not hold our meeting as originally planned in Cincinnati, Ohio, so we could all thank Doug Goyings, his family and the team from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Board for their dedicated leadership this past year,” Chairman Padget said. “Doug has done a wonderful job as Chairman and I can only hope to meet his example with his help.”

Chairman Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the NAWG Research and Technology Committee and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

Vice Chairperson Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and has been engaged in the operation full-time for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm 50 years ago growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow hard red spring (HRS) wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 16 years and served as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Secretary-Treasurer Peters grows hard red winter (HRW) wheat and canola and winter grazes stocker cattle on wheat. Peters is President of his local CHS Coop Board and is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President and on the Board of Elders at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a commissioner and Secretary of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, is a USW Director and serves as Chairman of the USW Wheat Quality Committee. He has participated in several farm leadership programs sponsored by CHS and the National Wheat Foundation. Peters and his wife Linda have two teenage boys who work with him and his father on their farm.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Past Chairman Goyings and his family grow soft red winter (SRW) and have hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. He has served in Ohio and national agricultural leadership positions for 37 years. Goyings has been a member of the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He serves as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board, is a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and has served as a director for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc. and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

USW’s next Board meeting is currently scheduled to be held jointly with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Nov. 3 to 8, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz.

USW’s mission is to develop, maintain and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Darren Padget.

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WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the 2020/21 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Jan 17, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla., as Secretary-Treasurer; Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Vice Chairman; Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Chairman. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2020 when current Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

(L to R): Michael Peters, Oklahoma; Rhonda Larson, Minnesota; Darren Padget, Oregon; Doug Goyings, Ohio; Vince Peterson, USW.

“I’m excited. We have a great team here at U.S. Wheat Associates,” Peters said after his election as the next USW officer. “I’m sure there will be many challenges ahead but I’m looking forward to tackling them.”

Peters said being asked to represent Oklahoma wheat farmers in Italy, Israel and Morocco first peaked his interest in the work being done overseas to promote U.S. wheat. “It is very important to for us to build upon those relationships and support to increase overseas demand,” he added.

Michael Peters is a farmer and rancher growing hard red winter wheat and canola, and winter grazing stocker cattle on wheat. Peters is President of his local CHS Coop Board, is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President of  St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a Commissioner and Secretary of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. As a USW Director, Peters serves as Chairman of the Wheat Quality Committee. He has participated in several farm leadership programs sponsored by CHS and the National Wheat Foundation. Peters and his wife Linda have two teenage boys who work with him and his father on their farm.

Michael Peters.

Rhonda Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and has been engaged in the operation full-time for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm 51 years ago growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years; serving as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. As a USW director, she served on the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Budget Committee. Larson received a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a juris doctor’s degree in law from the University of North Dakota.

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Together with his wife Diane, son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Jessica and his twin grandsons, Goyings grows soft red winter (SRW) and has hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. With more than 35 years of experience representing wheat and Ohio agriculture, Goyings has been a member of the USW board while serving as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He is also a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and previously sat on the board of directors for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc., and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs and activities, U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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WHITEFISH, Montana — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors seated new officers at its annual meeting June 12, 2019, in Whitefish, Mont. USW is the export market development organization representing U.S. wheat farmers.

USW officers for 2019/20 are: Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio; Vice Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore.; Secretary-Treasurer Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn.; and Past Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the January 2019 board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

2019-2020 USW Officers (L to R) Darren Padget, Vice Chairman, Oregon; Doug Goyings, Chairman, Ohio; Chris Kolstad, Past Chairman, Montana; and Rhonda Larson, Secretary-Treasurer, Minnesota.

The board of directors also welcomed representatives of the Alberta Wheat Commission as special guests at their meeting. Geoff Backman, Business Development and Markets Manager, and Gary Stanford, Chairman and a wheat farmer from Lethbridge, Alberta, discussed the Canadian side of the current, shared trade issues. Casey Chumrau, USW Marketing Manager, Santiago, Chile, and a Montana native, updated the directors on new export opportunities in South America.  

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Goyings and his family grow soft red winter (SRW) and have hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. He has served in Ohio and national agricultural leadership positions for 37 years. Goyings has been a member of the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He serves as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board, is a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and has served as a director for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc. and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

2019 – 2020 USW Chairman Doug Goyings, Ohio

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the NAWG Research and Technology Committee and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

2019 – 2020 USW Vice Chairman Darren Padget, Oregon

Rhonda K. Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and has been engaged in the operation full-time for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm 50 years ago growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow hard red spring (HRS) wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 16 years and served as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

2019 – 2020 USW Secretary-Treasurer Rhonda Larson, Minnesota

Chris Kolstad is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation. They grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat, durum, barley and dry peas. A commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has been a USW director since 2012. He is also a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. He is a regular blood donor and his community leadership includes past service on the local school board, in his family’s church and on the Montana Commission on Community Service.

2018 – 2019 USW Chairman Chris Kolstad, Montana (right), passes the gavel to incoming 2019 – 2020 USW Chairman Doug Goyings, Ohio (left). Kolstad will continue to serve the board over the next year as Past Chairman.

USW’s next Board meeting will be held jointly with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Nov. 3 to 8, 2019, in Santa Fe, N.M.

USW’s mission is to develop, maintain and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the 2019/20 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Rhonda K. Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Secretary-Treasurer; Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Vice Chairman; and Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, as Chairman. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2019 in Montana when current Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont., will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

Left to right: Darren Padget, Secretary-Treasurer; Doug Goyings, Vice Chairman; Chris Kolstad, Chairman; and Rhonda Larson, Secretary-Treasurer Elect.
Left to right: Darren Padget, Secretary-Treasurer; Doug Goyings, Vice Chairman; Chris Kolstad, Chairman; and Rhonda Larson, Secretary-Treasurer Elect.

Rhonda K. Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and has been engaged in the operation full-time for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm 50 years ago growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow hard red spring wheat and sugarbeets.

Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 16 years and served as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. As a USW director, she served on the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Budget Committee.

Rhonda Larson

“As farmers we need to make a profit and part of the way to do that is to make it a priority to improve wheat quality and continue to bring quality wheat to the world.,” Larson said. “I have always had an interest in being on the U.S. Wheat Associates officer team. My role on the farm has changed and I am now able to dedicate the time necessary to serve. I am humbled by the respect and encouragement I have received from wheat farmers in Minnesota and from the other U.S. Wheat directors and I will do my best to represent them well.”

Larson received a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a juris doctor degree in law from the University of North Dakota. Along with farming, she enjoys reading, swimming, riding horses and spending time with her granddaughter.

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Together with his wife Diane, son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Jessica and his twin grandsons, Goyings grows soft red winter wheat and has hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. With more than 35 years of experience representing wheat and Ohio agriculture, Goyings has been a member of the USW board while serving as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He is also a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and previously sat on the board of directors for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc., and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

Chris Kolstad’s family farm is in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation and the fifth generation of their family to farm. Kolstad grows hard red winter wheat, dark northern spring wheat and durum, barley and dry peas. As a commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has represented his state on the USW board since 2012. He is also an active member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. His community leadership includes serving on his local school board, as treasurer for his family’s church and has been a regular blood donor since 1972.

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat. For more information, visit the USW website at www.uswheat.org.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Seattle, WASHINGTON — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors seated new officers at its annual meeting June 24, 2018, in Seattle, Wash. USW is the export market development organization representing U.S. wheat farmers.

USW officers for 2018/19 are: Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont.; Vice Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio; Secretary-Treasurer Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore.; and Past Chairman Mike Miller of Ritzville, Wash. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the February 2018 board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

Left to right: Vice Chairman Doug Goyings; Chairman Chris Kolstad; Past Chairman Mike Miller; and Secretary-Treasurer Darren Padget.

The board of directors also welcomed members of the Philippine Association of Flour Millers as special guests at their meeting. Executive Director Ricardo Pinca presented information about the potential threat from Turkish flour imports. Several years ago, the association proved to their government that Turkish companies were dumping flour into the Philippines that created a “material threat” to their business. That threat extended to U.S. wheat sales because Philippines millers import more than 95 percent of their commodity from the United States. Duties were imposed on Turkish flour but they will expire in 2019, so Pinca explained how USW and local millers can work together to fight the future risk of continued dumping.

USW’s next Board meeting will be held jointly with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris Kolstad is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation. They grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat, durum, barley and dry peas. A commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has been a USW director since 2012. He is also a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. He is a regular blood donor and his community leadership includes past service on the local school board, in his family’s church and on the Montana Commission on Community Service.

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the NAWG Research and Technology Committee and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Goyings and his family grow soft red winter (SRW) and have hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. He has served in Ohio and national agricultural leadership positions for 37 years. Goyings has been a member of the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He serves as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board, is a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and has served as a director for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc. and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

Mike Miller is a fourth-generation farmer who operates a dryland wheat farm and grows multiple crops on a separate, irrigated farm in east central Washington. He has served on many local, state and national boards, and this is his seventh year as a USW director representing the Washington Grain Commission. Miller is also very active in supporting wheat research and development. He and his wife, Marci, have three children.

USW’s mission is to develop, maintain and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Caption: Ricardo Pinca, Executive Director of the Philippine Association of Flour Millers, presented information about the continuing threat to U.S. wheat exports and the flour milling industry from the dumping of Turkish flour into the Philippines.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
In all its programs, activities and employment, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USW at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S., 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, USW, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. USW is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the 2018/19 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Feb. 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Secretary-Treasurer; current Secretary-Treasurer Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, as Vice Chairman; and current Vice Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont., as Chairman. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2018 in Seattle, Wash., when current Chairman Mike Miller of Ritzville, Wash., will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.

Darren Padget is a fourth generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the Research and Technology Committee for the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and also served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

“Oregon exports 80 to 90 percent of its wheat, so I’ve always been interested in what is going on when our wheat leaves the country. I first served on a local cooperative board of directors for 13 years and learned about the importance of wheat quality, the mechanics of how the grain moves and what the customers want,” said Padget. “My farm is two hours from Portland, so I tend to get some overseas visitors, and that is what started my interest in serving as an Oregon wheat commissioner.”

A few years ago, Padget represented wheat farmers on USW’s annual Crop Quality Seminar tour in Asia and it was that experience that motivated him to become more involved with USW and eventually want to serve on the officer team.

“Seven countries in 20 days gave me a pretty good overview of U.S. wheat overseas. I met the millers, and bakers, and while I’ve always been involved on the cooperative and political side [of the wheat industry], this really came full circle for me; and to see what the [USW] staff has done on behalf of the U.S. wheat farmer to sell a bushel of wheat was very impressive,” said Padget. “That was my ‘a-ha moment.’ When I got back I thought, wow, this is a big deal and something I’d like to be a part of and contribute to.”

Padget said the support from his family – including his parents who still live on the farm – and help from his son, who came back to the farm full-time, helped give him the time to pursue this opportunity.

“The more I learn about it [USW], the more impressed I am, so I wanted to dedicate my time to serve on this board,” said Padget.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Together with his wife Diane, son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Jessica and his twin grandsons, Goyings grows soft red winter (SRW) and has hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. With more than 35 years of experience representing wheat and Ohio agriculture, Goyings has been a member of the USW board while serving as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He is also a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and previously sat on the board of directors for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc., and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

Chris Kolstad’s family farm is located in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation and the fifth generation of their family to farm. Kolstad grows hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat and durum, barley and dry peas. As a commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has represented his state on the USW board since 2012. He is also an active member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. His community leadership includes serving on his local school board, as treasurer for his family’s church and has been a regular blood donor since 1972.

Mike Miller is a fourth generation farmer who operates a dryland wheat farm and grows multiple crops on a separate, irrigated farm in east central Washington. He has served on many local, state and national boards, including the Washington Grain Commission and r as a USW director representing Washington. Miller is also very active in supporting wheat research and development. He and his wife, Marci, have three children.

More photos from the meeting are available on USW’s Facebook.

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 16 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org.

Caption: (L to R) Darren Padget, Secretary-Treasurer Elect and a farmer from Grass Valley, OR; Jason Scott, Past Chairman and a farmer from Trappe, MD; Mike Miller, Chairman and farmer from Ritzville, WA; Chris Kolstad, Vice Chairman and a farmer from Ledger, MT; Doug Goyings, Secretary-Treasurer and a farmer from Paulding, OH; and USW President Vince Peterson.

Caption: Darren Padget, a farmer from Grass Valley, OR, who represents his state on the USW Board of Directors, was elected to the 2018/19 USW Officer Team. He will begin his new leadership role as Secretary-Treasurer at the USW Summer Board Meeting in Seattle, WA, June 2018.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors seated new officers at its annual meeting July 11, 2017, in Annapolis, Md. USW officers for 2017/18 are: Chairman Mike Miller of Ritzville, Wash.; Vice Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont.; Secretary-Treasurer Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio; and Past-Chairman Jason Scott of Easton, Md. Vince Peterson succeeded Alan Tracy as USW President, a staff office position, on July 1, 2017. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the February 2017 Winter Wheat Conference in Washington, D.C.

Also during the USW board meeting, committees met on July 9 and 10, including the Joint Wheat Breeding Innovation and Joint International Trade Policy committees that operate in conjunction with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Official business was called to order at 1 p.m., EDT, July 10 and continued through 10 a.m. July 11.

USW’s next Board meeting will be held jointly with NAWG Oct. 16 to 19, 2017, in Charleston, SC.

Mike Miller is a fourth-generation farmer who operates a dryland wheat farm and grows multiple crops on a separate, irrigated farm in east central Washington. He has served on many local, state and national boards. He is the current Chairman of the Washington Grain Commission and this is his sixth year as a USW director representing Washington. Miller is also very active in supporting wheat research and development. He and his wife, Marci, have three children.

Chris Kolstad is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation. They grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat, durum, barley and dry peas. A commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has been a USW director since 2012. He is also a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. His community leadership includes serving on his local school board, as treasurer of his family’s church and as a regular blood donor.

Jason Scott is a sixth generation wheat farmer from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he is farm manager of Walnut Hill Farms and produces soft red winter (SRW) wheat, row crops and vegetables. He is also an Independent Sales Representative for Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l, under the title Scott’s Seed, L.L.C. Scott is a founding member of the Dorchester County Young Farmers, past president of the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board and the Maryland Grain Producers Association. In 2011, he won the Maryland Young Farmers Achievement Award. He and his wife Dr. Casey Scott have two children.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Goyings and his family grow soft red winter (SRW) and have hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. He has served in Ohio and national agricultural leadership positions for 36 years. Goyings has been a member of the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He serves as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board, is a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and has served as a director for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc. and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

USW is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers.” The activities of USW are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.

2016/17 U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman Jason Scott, a wheat farmer from Easton, Md., passes the gavel to 2017/18 Chairman Mike Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Wash., at the organization’s annual meeting June 11, 2017, in Annapolis, Md.

Header Photo: U.S. Wheat Associates 2017/18 officers were seated June 11, 2017, at the organization’s annual meeting in Annapolis, Md. Left to right: President Vince Peterson; Secretary-Treasurer Doug Goyings; Past Chairman Jason Scott; Chairman Mike Miller; and Vice Chairman Chris Kolstad.

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.