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U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces that Joe Bippert will join the export market development organization as Assistant Regional Director for South Asia on Nov. 1, 2021. Bippert will work remotely until he and his family can relocate to USW’s office in Manila, Philippines. Bippert has served as Program Director with the Washington Grain Commission (WGC), Spokane, Wash., since January 2017.

“I am grateful for the time I have spent at the Washington Grain Commission representing the state’s wheat and barley producers, and the exposure to markets in South Asia,” Bippert said. “Now I look forward to expanding my service to every wheat producer in the United States as I begin my role at U.S. Wheat Associates.”

Joe Bippert

Joe Bippert will join U.S. Wheat Associates Nov. 1, 2021, as Assistant Regional Director, South Asia, and will relocate to Manila, Philippines, when pandemic travel rules allow.

“Having worked with Joe during his time with the Washington Grain Commission, we knew he was the right person with the proper skill set, personality and knowledge of the wheat industry to fill this position,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mike Spier. “He will have an experienced and successful manager in Joe Sowers, our Regional Vice President for South Asia, and excellent technical support to help him build the already strong demand for several U.S. wheat classes in the Philippines and the rest of the region.”

Joe Bippert grew up on a family timber farm near Olympia, Wash., and learned Spanish in Mexico while serving a church mission. After earning a Business degree from Brigham Young University in 2008, he began his career in international trade and marketing with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). His focus was helping producer groups develop and implement international marketing strategies and included management of agricultural delegations on two governor-led international trade missions. With the WGC, Bippert manages Latin American marketing strategy, analyzes the state’s wheat industry economy and monitors trade and transportation policy. He currently co-chairs USW’s Wheat Transportation Working Group. Bippert, his wife Corinne and their sons Jack, Max and Luke currently call Spokane, Wash., home.

Major wheat markets in USW’s South Asian region include Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. U.S. wheat regional sales there of about 6.4 million metric tons, or about 235 million bushels, of hard red spring, soft white, hard red winter and some soft red winter wheat represented the largest regional sales volume and about 25% of total U.S. commercial wheat sales in marketing year 2020/21.

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’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 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 (not all bases apply to all programs). Persons who require alternative means of communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, language translation, 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. USDA information can be found here: https://www.usda.gov/non-discrimination-statement. To file a program discrimination complaint at USDA, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online, at www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-program-discrimination-complaint-form.pdf.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is grateful to the Biden Administration and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for their work alongside Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance to reduce the cost of wheat for Vietnam’s millers and consumers. As part of a bilateral package announced during Vice President Kamala Harris’ Indo-Pacific trip, Vietnam will reduce or eliminate import tariffs on several U.S. commodities including wheat. The tariff suspensions are expected to be implemented soon and will help reduce food costs for the Vietnamese people. It will also help make U.S. wheat more competitive in Vietnam’s growing wheat market.

Vietnam, like many countries this year, has seen significant food and feed price inflation due to the rise in global commodity prices and COVID impacts on supply chains. Vietnam’s government should be commended for taking this proactive step to assist their domestic millers and consumers.

The newly announced reduction follows one from July 2020, when Vietnam reduced its tariff on imported U.S. wheat (excluding durum) from 5% to 3% in a revision of its Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates.  Vietnam is the last remaining Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) country applying a tariff against U.S. wheat imports but not against Canadian and Australian wheat, making today’s announcement particularly noteworthy for U.S. wheat growers.

Despite the tariffs, Vietnam’s imports of U.S. hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat exceeded 500,000 metric tons in marketing year 2020/21, second in volume only to Australia. Vietnam currently imports an average of more than 3 million metric tons of wheat per year.

The suspension was granted because of the dedicated work between USDA/FAS, cooperator organizations and the Vietnamese importers who petitioned their government to reduce or eliminate certain MFN tariffs to help hold down rising food and feed prices.

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 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. For more information, visit 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 (not all bases apply to all programs). Persons who require alternative means of communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, language translation, 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. USDA information can be found here: https://www.usda.gov/non-discrimination-statement. To file a program discrimination complaint at USDA, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online, at www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-program-discrimination-complaint-form.pdf.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is happy to announce that Tyllor Ledford joined its staff as Assistant Director of the West Coast Office in Portland, Ore., on August 16, 2021. Ledford will fill the role left by Michael Anderson, who was promoted to Market Analyst earlier this year.

“I am very excited to welcome Tyllor to U.S. Wheat Associates. She brings essential skills developed during her time at Texas Tech University and has the people skills that will be important in her role as liaison between wheat farmers and overseas customers,” said Steve Wirsching, USW Vice President and West Coast Director. “She knows how to relate to wheat farmers and understands the challenges they face. She will be directly involved in planning and hosting overseas wheat buyers and highlighting the advantages of the U.S. supply chain.”

As USW looks forward to when it can again welcome overseas trade delegations to the United States to visit the wheat supply chain in the Pacific Northwest, Ledford’s responsibilities will include assisting in both in-person and continued online programs and trade service activities for overseas customers. She will also assist in outreach to state wheat commissions and the grain trade and a range of assignments supporting USW’s export market development activities on behalf of U.S. wheat farmers.

Ledford joins USW after recently completing a master’s degree in agricultural and applied economics from Texas Tech University, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in the same concentration. As a part of her master’s program, Ledford’s research focused on the relationship between food security and conflict patterns in Africa. She has also gained valuable experience as a Texas Tech graduate research assistant, interning with Colorado State University Extension and through agribusiness academic immersion programs in China and Spain. Ledford is a native of Colorado, where she grew up on her family’s quarter horse ranch.

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 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. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.

Tyllor Ledford

Tyllor Ledford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 (not all bases apply to all programs). Persons who require alternative means of communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, language translation, 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. USDA information can be found here: https://www.usda.gov/non-discrimination-statement. To file a program discrimination complaint at USDA, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online, at www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-program-discrimination-complaint-form.pdf.

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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.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has promoted Erica Oakley to Vice President of Programs. Oakley joined USW in 2015 as Program Manager and was promoted to Director of Programs in 2017.

Oakley’s promotion signals a structure change in USW’s Headquarters Office, splitting the previous Program and Planning department. Previously serving the organization as Vice President of Programs and Planning, Jennifer Sydney will shift titles to Vice President of Planning. In this role, Sydney will continue leading USW’s annual planning process and manage all facets of its intersection with federal programs, finance, and overseas office operations.

Oakley will oversee all domestic components of USW programs in support of overseas offices in her new role, including export market development activities, consulting assignments, customer trade teams, USW director delegations, and customer conferences. Oakley will also continue leading the development of USW’s annual Crop Quality Report and seminars.

“It is important as an organization to adapt based on the needs of its customers and stakeholders and how the skills and commitment of its employees can best serve its mission,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “Erica has been an exceptional asset to the organization, especially through all of the challenges and changes we faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are confident this change is in the best interest of USW’s mission and look forward to both Erica and Jennifer’s continued leadership.”

Erica Oakley

Erica Oakley.

Before joining USW, Oakley worked as an Associate at Humanitas Global, Washington, D.C. She also worked as a Program Associate at the Academy for Educational Development, now FHI 360, supporting a USAID Title II-funded Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance project to strengthen food security and nutrition policies, programs and systems. Before that, Oakley was a Project Associate at Washington-based Futures Group. A native of North Carolina, Oakley earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies at Meredith College, Raleigh, N.C., and a master’s degree in international relations from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.

Reporting to Oakley will be Catherine Miller, whose title will shift from Programs and Planning Coordinator to Program Coordinator with additional responsibilities. Also reporting to Oakley will be Program Coordinator Maybelis Fernandez who coordinates program travel arrangements.

Reporting to Sydney will be Nada Obaid, whose title will shift from Office Manager to Planning and Administrative Assistant. She will assume more responsibility in the day-to-day planning operations and continue administrative office management.

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 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. For more information, visit 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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U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has promoted Michael Anderson to Market Analyst. Anderson has served as USW Assistant Director, West Coast Office in Portland, Ore., since July 2018. 

As Market Analyst, Anderson will monitor and report on global wheat market supply and demand, trade and U.S. wheat export prices among other responsibilities.

“Michael has done a very good job working as a host for overseas trade delegations and supporting our 13 overseas offices in his West Coast Office position,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “As Market Analyst, he will provide a different but no less important trade service reporting market information that adds value to U.S. wheat export market development.”

Anderson grew up in Texas and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Baylor University and a master’s degree in International Agriculture from Oklahoma State University. After graduating from Baylor, Anderson joined the Peace Corps where he served as a health volunteer in Armenia. Following that overseas experience, he worked with The Carter Center in Central Africa as a technical advisor for the Guinea Worm Eradication Program with the South Sudan Ministry of Health. Anderson served as a trade intern with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington D.C., where he became interested in international trade policy. Before joining USW, Anderson was International Marketing Program Coordinator for Food Export Association of the Northeast, which like USW is a member of the public-private partnership with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) export market development programs. He speaks French and his hobbies include travel and softball.

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 FAS.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson

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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, D.C. – The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) are pleased with the bipartisan U.S. Senate vote today approving the appointment of former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to that important post again under the Biden-Harris Administration.

“We welcome Secretary Vilsack’s return to USDA in a year that is projected to see record U.S. agricultural exports,” said USW President Vince Peterson, who currently serves on the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade. “We look forward to working with him again to continue building on the successful export market development partnership between U.S. wheat farmers and USDA.”

“NAWG applauds the Senate for its timely consideration and strong bipartisan support for confirming Secretary Vilsack to lead the USDA once again,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “Like many farmers across the country, wheat growers are facing economic challenges, and we are pleased to see the Senate and President work to fill these leadership positions at the USDA with qualified candidates, so we can continue to work on policy that benefits rural America. Secretary Vilsack is uniquely qualified to head up the USDA, having served there previously, and has an exceptional understanding of agricultural and rural issues. We look forward to working with him and continuing to build our relationship with the USDA.”

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About U.S. Wheat Associates 
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’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org.

About NAWG
NAWG is the primary policy representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at the national levels. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has created a new film titled “Wholesome: The Journey of U.S. Wheat” that shows how the people in the export supply system maintain the wholesome, reliable character of U.S. wheat. USW will premiere the film at 1:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, on its Facebook page at this link: https://bit.ly/WholesomePremiere

“In our organization’s mission to promote U.S. wheat exports, our representatives focus on the consistently high quality of our supplies,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “Through this film, the people at every step of the journey to export tell their own stories about how they thoughtfully produce new varieties, care for the land and the crop, and handle the wheat responsively to ensure it meets customer needs. This is an educational program that makes the stunning beauty of the land and the emotional attachment of these dependable people to the industry a key part of the story.”

https://vimeo.com/493468625

The 25-minute film was produced in cooperation with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service and Federal Grain Inspection Service, state wheat commissions, local elevators and export elevators. It will be available to 13 overseas USW offices for use at seminars, courses and trade events and serve as the foundation of new messages informing world wheat buyers and users about U.S. wheat export quality throughout 2021.

“In 2020, we celebrated our 40th year operating as U.S. Wheat Associates by telling our authentic story—that behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people,” Mercer said. “Functional quality is a crucial part of that reliability and the people play such an important role in maintaining quality, we wanted them to help remind our customers about why U.S. wheat is so valuable.”

USW will also produce individual short subject programs covering chapters featured in the film. Each of these programs will be available for viewing later this year on the USW website, www.uswheat.org, and on the organization’s Vimeo page at https://vimeo.com/uswheatassociates.

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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’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 the USW website at www.uswheat.org.

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Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act (GSA) of 2020, S. 4054. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) applauds both the House and Senate for their bipartisan work to move the bill forward and reauthorize the GSA through September 30, 2025. NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) have worked collaboratively over the last year and a half to identify priorities for the reauthorization process, given the critical importance of the United States’ weighing and inspection system to our competitiveness in the world market.

“With our farmers facing tough economic challenges, including several years of low commodity prices and headwinds blowing against overseas demand, it is critically important that we at least maintain a smooth grain inspection system. We applaud Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate for working together to get this piece of legislation passed by the end of the year,” said NAWG President and Cass City, Mich., farmer Dave Milligan. “To maintain a properly functioning grain inspection system, NAWG encourages the President to sign this bill into law before the closing of 2020.”

Dave Milligan, NAWG President

“This law and our system of standardized, independent grain inspection makes U.S. wheat more valuable,” said USW Chairman Darren Padget, a wheat farmer from Grass Valley, Ore. “The proof of that came this year when many of our overseas buyers expressed a real concern that the pandemic would interrupt our supply chain and Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) inspections.”  

Darren Padget, USW Chairman

The Grain Standards Act serves a critical role in exporting grains and oilseeds, including U.S. wheat, of which about 50 percent is exported each year. The grain inspection system assures overseas buyers that an independent agency has certified shipments to their contracted specifications. This objective certification adds a competitive advantage to U.S. wheat and other commodities that helps maintain and grow export markets. 

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About U.S. Wheat Associates
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’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit our website at www.uswheat.org 

About NAWG
NAWG is the primary policy representative in Washington D.C. for wheat growers, working to ensure a better future for America’s growers, the industry and the general public. NAWG works with a team of 20 state wheat grower organizations to benefit the wheat industry at the national levels. From their offices on Capitol Hill, NAWG’s staff members are in constant contact with state association representatives, NAWG grower leaders, Members of Congress, Congressional staff members, Administration officials and the public. 

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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.