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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) promotes Amanda Spoo to Director of Communications in its Arlington, Va., headquarters. Spoo will continue to direct USW’s online communications efforts while supporting public relations and marketing communications outreach to overseas wheat buyers and U.S. farmer stakeholders. USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization.

“Amanda continues to demonstrate a highly effective approach to her work with an increasing number of responsibilities,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “Under her direction, we are reaching a much wider audience of buyers and farmers through social media and online tools. Her leadership on a very successful revision of our website, www.uswheat.org, was a crucial part of that effort and we are pleased to recognize her contribution.”

Spoo was Director of Communications with the Kansas Pork Association before joining USW in 2015 as a Communications Specialist and was promoted to USW Assistant Director of Communications in 2017. She grew up in Hermiston, Ore., and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism at Kansas State University. She worked three years as a Student Communications Specialist at the IGP Institute and as a Communications Intern in Government Affairs with ICM, Inc., a Kansas biofuels company. Spoo continues to be active in Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and currently serves as the AFA Alliance Chair and Representative to the AFA board of directors. She is also a member of AAEA-The Ag Communicators Network and the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Amanda Spoo

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
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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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), which represents the interests of U.S. wheat farmers in export markets, is pleased to announce that Mr. Kazunori “Rick” Nakano will join the organization April 1, 2019, as Associate Country Director for Japan, based in Tokyo. Nakano brings more than 27 years of grain trading and management experience with Japan’s Marubeni Corporation to USW. He will work closely with USW Country Director Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya, who intends to retire from his position in late September 2019.

“Rick’s work with Marubeni includes trading with Gavilon Grain in Omaha, Neb., and managing trading operations at Columbia Grain’s Portland, Ore., export operation,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler. “His experience is a real benefit for our farmers and for our loyal customers in Japan. In the short term, he will help us navigate the challenges for growers and customers as the United States and Japan negotiate a new trade relationship. He is also an excellent choice to maintain the trust and transparency that has marked our long and very successful partnership with Japan’s wheat buyers, millers and wheat foods industry. While it will be difficult to say good bye to Charlie, we are very happy to welcome Rick to our organization.”

Kazunori “Rick” Nakano

Mr. Nakano joined Marubeni’s cereals and grains section in 1991 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from WASEDA University. His next post was as Marketing Manager at Columbia Grain (CGI) in Portland before returning to Japan and becoming General Manager of Marubeni’s Wheat and Barley Section in 2005. In 2009, he returned to CGI as Vice President to supervise its business operations. He expanded his management responsibilities in 2011 as Assistant General Manager, Food Unit, and General Manager, Global Grain, of Marubeni America Corp. in New York, N.Y. In 2013, Mr. Nakano was appointed Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Agriculture, of Marubeni’s Gavilon Agricultural Investment, Inc., division in Omaha and named General Manager in 2015. Most recently, he was Corporate Officer and General Manager of Marubeni’s Pacific Grain Terminal subsidiary in Tokyo.

Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya .

Mr. Utsunomiya joined USW in May 2007 after the death of former Country Director Takeo Suzuki. His path to USW also led from grain trading management with Marubeni, including as Chairman of CGI. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Marubeni’s invested rice mill subsidiary, General Manager of the company’s soy processing division and Assistant General Manager of its food division among other positions over his 30-year career with Marubeni.

“We were fortunate Charlie could put that expertise and deep personal knowledge of our customers and contacts in Japan to work for our organization and the wheat farmers we represent,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “His leadership helping us pursue every advantage in the Japanese market has been invaluable. He has been a sage counselor, guiding our efforts properly and effectively through the intricate business culture that accompanies any problem or opportunity there. Charlie’s successful stewardship will leave U.S. wheat interests in a strong position at a very important time in Japan.”

U.S. wheat farmers have maintained a close connection with Japan since 1949, when the Oregon Wheat Growers League organized a wheat export trade delegation to Japan. Following that trip, a variety of marketing and educational activities were started in Japan to promote U.S. wheat, including a school lunch program and a “Kitchen on Wheels” that travelled through rural Japan. USW legacy organization Western Wheat Associates opened an office in Tokyo in 1956.

Since that time, Japan has imported significantly more U.S. wheat than any other country. Buyers at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries import significant amounts of U.S. hard red spring, hard red winter and Western White wheat, which is then re-sold to Japan’s milling companies to produce flour for bread, noodles, confectionery items and dozens of additional commercial products.

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. 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.

ARLINGTON, Virginia – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) names Chad Weigand as Assistant Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, to be based in Cape Town, South Africa, effective Dec. 1, 2018, and announces that current Market Analyst Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann will replace Weigand as Assistant Regional Director for Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, in Mexico City, Mexico, effective Jan. 15, 2019. USW also announces that Claire Hutchins will join the export market development organization as Market Analyst Nov. 30, 2018, in the Arlington, Va. Headquarters.

 

“Our organization continues to evolve. It is great to have opportunities for talented, committed managers like Chad and Stephanie to grow within the company and take on more responsibilities with these promotions,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler. “Chad has effectively represented U.S. wheat farmers in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean region for several years and will work with Regional Director Gerald Theus and our experienced Sub-Saharan Africa team to fight for market share in that important region. Stephanie’s exceptional work as a Planning and Programs Assistant and Market Analyst have prepared her well to join the team in Mexico City where she will report to Regional Vice President Mitch Skalicky.”

 

“We are very pleased to welcome Claire Hutchins to our communications team,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “She brings a sincere enthusiasm for the wheat industry developed on her family’s farm in Colorado and for agricultural economics in her graduate work at Utah State University. In her position, Claire will analyze and report on global wheat market supply, demand and price trends.”

 

Weigand joined USW in 2009 as Market Analyst before transferring to Mexico City in 2011. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and business administration from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Weigand spent two years in the Peace Corps as an agribusiness specialist in Ecuador and completed an internship with the Office of Trade Programs at USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

 

Chad Weigand. (Click for high-resolution image.)

 

Bryant-Erdmann joined USW in 2014. She grew up working on her family’s Nebraska cattle ranch and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her master’s program thesis at Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs focused on the economic feasibility of exporting Kenyan cheese to the United Arab Emirates. She also had an internship at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Information Center where she helped create educational materials for U.S. organizations looking to export products and services.

 

Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann (Click for high-resolution image.)

 

Hutchins was raised on an irrigated wheat, soy and alfalfa farm in the high desert near Fruita, Colo. Athletic skill and an interest in Asia brought her to the University of Pennsylvania where she competed in rowing and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chinese language, history and art history. She was recruited to help manage an established organic farm in New Jersey and a start-up community farm of sustainably grown produce in suburban Philadelphia, Penn. Noting the “disconnection between the ideals of the organic movement and practical reality of farm life for large-scale producers,” Hutchins entered a master’s program in agricultural economics at Utah State University, including coursework at the National Taiwan University, Taipei, and will graduate in December 2018. As a research assistant she measured the effects of Russian weather and policy on the rates of return for U.S. wheat producers. In addition, Hutchins worked as a Government Affairs Intern at Syngenta’s Washington, D.C., office.

 

 

Claire Hutchins (Click for high-resolution image.)

 

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.

 

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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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TOKYO, Japan — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Tokyo announces that Ms. Makiko Ochi has joined the staff as Program Assistant/Accountant. Ms. Ochi will replace Ms. Sadako Ishida who plans to retire in late September 2018 after many years working with USW to promote U.S. wheat exports to Japan.

 

“We are very pleased Ms. Ochi is now applying her experience as a manager at a large securities organization and as a skilled communicator to our work on behalf of U.S. wheat farmers here in Japan,” said USW Japan Country Director Wataru Utsunomiya.

 

Ms. Ochi most recently worked as a freelance drama and dance critic in Japan, Asia and Europe after eight years in management at Daiwa Institute of Research, one of Japan’s largest securities firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in law at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.

 

Compared to Japan, no government organizations, millers or processors in any other country invest so much to produce the highest quality, most wholesome wheat foods possible for its consumers. USW and its legacy organizations, with support from state wheat commissions and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) export market development programs, have maintained an office and staff serving Japan’s sophisticated wheat milling and food industry since 1956. In turn, Japan represents a consistently strong market for high-quality U.S. soft white (SW), hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) wheat.

 

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.

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 Makiko Ochi

 

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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Hong Kong — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has promoted Ms. Shirley Lu to Country Director, China, and Ms. Kaiwen Wu to Market Specialist China. Ms. Lu is based in USW’s North Asia Regional Office in Hong Kong and Ms. Wu is based in the USW Beijing office. The changes follow the retirement earlier this year of long-time USW Country Director Andy Zhao

 

Shirley Lu, USW Country Director, China

Ms. Lu served as a wheat buyer and seller with a flour miller and a trading company in the People’s Republic of China before joining USW in 2012 as Market Specialist.

 

“In a previous position, Shirley was instrumental in the first private purchase of U.S. wheat in the early days of the WTO-mandated quota system,” said USW Regional Vice President Jeff Coey. “Given her knowledge of the Chinese market and the very high level of competence she has demonstrated since she joined USW, elevating Shirley to Country Director is a natural move.”

 

“Even though working in this market is very complicated, it is always about people — and working with good customers is always a pleasure,” Ms. Lu said.

 

Ms. Wu joined USW as a Receptionist in Beijing in 1996, and eventually became Office Manager.

Kaiwen Wu, USW Market Specialist, China

 

“Kaiwen’s personal efficiency and knowledge of our trade service and technical support activities has earned the respect of every customer and prospect in the Chinese milling and wheat foods industries,” Coey said. “We are certain her transition to the Marketing Specialist position will be seamless.”

 

“Over the years with U.S. Wheat Associates, I have learned that the American wheat farmers we represent are lovely people to be with,” Ms. Wu said. “That is one of the most important reasons why I have enjoyed working for them for so many years.”

 

China imported more than 61 million bushels of U.S. wheat in marketing year 2016/17 (June 1 to May 31), making it the fourth largest buyer of U.S. wheat in the world that year. USW and U.S. farmers have made a substantial investment over the years to develop a Chinese market that has great potential to buy even more U.S. wheat. Unfortunately, the exchange of tariffs and retaliation between the two countries has stopped that trade dead in its tracks.

 

USW has urged the Trump Administration to pull back from a dangerous course that puts vulnerable U.S. industries like wheat production at risk and, in a larger sense, undermines the established rules-based global trading system. However, USW will continue its market development work in China in hopes that more active trade in U.S. originated wheat will resume.

 

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.

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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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SANTIAGO — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is happy to announce that Andres Saturno has joined its staff as a Technical Specialist in its South American region. Saturno started his position July 9, 2018, and is based in USW’s Santiago office.

“We are very pleased to have Andres Saturno on board as the new Technical Specialist for the region,” said USW Regional Director Miguel Galdos. “He will be a valuable part of helping U.S. Wheat Associates carry out its mission and fulfill its commitment to increase technical assistance in the region.”

Saturno has more than 10 years of experience in the milling industry, most recently working as the head of milling production for a mill in Honduras. Prior to that role, he spent time working in various milling and engineering positions, as well as consulting and teaching. Saturno is a native of Venezuela and earned a milling engineering degree from Venezuela’s Universidad Panamericana Del Puerto.

In his role at USW, Saturno will work closely with customers in South America and their technical staff responsible for processing and analyzing U.S. wheat, to provide training, technical advice and on-going support. He will also conduct seminars and technical training to increase technical knowledge in the region and generate value to the industry.

“We are confident that Andres has the technical skills and expertise to help our customers obtain the best possible results and value from all six classes of U.S. wheat,” said Galdos.

“I want to thank everyone in the USW Santiago Office for the opportunity to be a part of this recognized organization,” said Saturno. “There are a lot of challenges and opportunities and I’m sure with this great team we are going to provide great value for U.S. wheat customers and U.S. wheat producers.”

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.

Andres Saturno

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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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PORTLAND, Oregon — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is happy to announce that Michael T. Anderson will join its staff as Assistant Director of the West Coast Office in Portland, Ore., July 9, 2018. Anderson’s responsibilities will include assisting overseas trade delegations visiting the wheat supply chain in the Pacific Northwest, 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.

“We are very pleased that Michael is bringing relevant experience in international market development, project management, market research and data analysis to our organization,” said Steve Wirsching, USW Vice President and Director of the West Coast Office. “His work with many different contacts from overseas guests to wheat producers will be a strong showcase for his excellent communications skills.”

“During grad school I became familiar with cooperator groups through an internship with the Southern U.S. Trade Association,” Anderson said. “After that I was devoted to the idea of how valuable it can be promoting U.S. agriculture on a global scale. Though I took a circuitous route to get here, I’m excited for the opportunity to learn more about wheat while working closely with stakeholders here and overseas.”

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 also 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. Most recently, 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 T. 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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SANTIAGO — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces that a familiar face is returning to the organization, naming Miguel Galdos, as Regional Director of its South American region. This follows the announcement that after 41 years of dedicated service to the U.S. wheat industry, Regional Vice President Alvaro de la Fuente will retire October 2018. Galdos will begin June 1, 2018, providing an appropriate transition period. Previously, Galdos worked for USW as Marketing Specialist and Assistant Regional Director in the USW Santiago Office from 2001 to 2008.

“I am excited to be back working for U.S. Wheat Associates, after 10 additional years of experience serving the Latin American and Caribbean wheat milling industry,” said Galdos. “The USW Santiago Office will continue to do its best to serve U.S. wheat customers in South America and represent the interests of U.S. wheat growers in the region. We will put emphasis on technical service to demonstrate the concrete benefit of U.S. wheat – the most reliable source of wheat in the world.”

Most recently, Galdos worked for Engrain LLC, as Vice President for Latin American and the Caribbean. Engrain is a U.S. based company involved in the production and commercialization of enzyme technology and premixes for the milling and baking industry. Galdos earned a degree from the Universidad Mayor, College of Forestry and Agriculture Sciences, in Santiago, Chile, and has completed courses at the IGP Institute and American Institute of Baking (AIB).

In his role at USW, Galdos will be responsible for leading market development programs conducted in the USW South American region to develop, serve and expand markets for U.S. wheat exports. He will also lead the regional office’s administrative and operational management.

“I am looking forward to welcoming Miguel back to U.S. Wheat Associates and working with him to continue to drive market efforts in our South American region,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mark Fowler. “His skill set and combined background in marketing, flour functionality and product development, will enhance USW’s ability to connect with U.S. wheat customers in the region and provide essential trade and technical service.”

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.

Miguel Galdos

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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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SINGAPORE — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcomes a new colleague to its South Asian Region Office in Singapore. Kong Song (Ivan) Goh joined the organization March 17, 2018, as Biscuit, Baking and Noodle Technologist. USW represents the interests of U.S. wheat farmers in the global milling wheat market.

Goh recently travelled to Thailand with USW’s veteran bakery consultant Roy Chung to analyze and compare wheat and flour quality from the United States and other countries.

“I have already seen that this organization is uniquely able to build a link between U.S. wheat farmers and their overseas buyers by providing market information and technical support to its customers,” Goh said. “No other wheat supplier provides the same services in the South Asia region.”

“We are pleased that Ivan can bring extensive experience in quality assurance and control to help flour mills, bakeries, cookie/cracker and confectionery processors better understand the quality, value and use of U.S. wheat flour,” said USW Regional Vice President Matt Weimar. “Ivan will soon join Roy Chung again to meet with milling and baking customers in Indonesia. It is just the start of what we know will be a long-term role supporting Roy and expanding technical support that helps differentiate U.S. wheat in this rapidly growing region.”

A Malaysian native who is fluent in several languages, Goh most recently held positions over five years in quality assurance and control, technical sales service and other functions with FFM Berhad (Federal Flour Mills) in West Port Klang, Malaysia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from University Putra in Malaysia and has taken USW-sponsored courses in Baking Science and Technology and Cookies and Cracker Technology at the UFM Baking School in Bangkok, Thailand. When Goh is not traveling for USW activities, he will work from his home base in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the USW South Asian Office in Singapore.

Kong Song (Ivan) Goh

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
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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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the industry’s export market development organization, promotes three associates to Vice President. Ben Conner is named Vice President of Policy, Joe Sowers is promoted to Regional Vice President for Philippines and Korea, and Jeff Coey becomes Regional Vice President for China and Taiwan. In addition, Matt Weimar, Regional Vice President for South Asia, adds responsibilities as Senior Advisor across all Asian countries.

“The importance of trade policy issues related to U.S. wheat export opportunities continues to grow and Ben Conner has stepped up quickly to senior level work in his role as Director of Policy,” said USW President Vince Peterson.

Based in Arlington, Va., Conner directs USW efforts to work collaboratively with wheat farmers and customers around the world to create a fair and competitive trade environment for U.S. wheat. He joined USW in October 2014 as Assistant Director of Policy and was named Director of Policy in 2016. Before joining USW, he worked in agriculture and trade policy as a legislative assistant to former U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns. Conner also served as a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Energy following graduation from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. His undergraduate experience included academic work in management and Middle East and Islamic Studies at American University in Cairo, Egypt. Conner went on to earn a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy at George Mason University and a joint MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management from Purdue and Indiana Universities.

“With promotions for Joe Sowers and Jeff Coey, we are recognizing their contributions and growth in their export market development roles,” said USW Vice President for Overseas Operations Mark Fowler. “The changes in responsibility will also help make regional activities even more effective and efficient.”

Sowers is based in Manila, Philippines, and will manage staff and export market development activities originating there and in Seoul, South Korea. He joined USW in 2005 as a market analyst in Washington, D.C., and earned a promotion to senior market analyst before moving to the USW regional office in Mexico City as assistant regional director for Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. In 2011, Sowers was transferred to Manila as assistant regional director for South Asia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From 2000 to 2004 Sowers analyzed global grain and oilseed markets with the economic consulting firm, Global Insight, stationed in Philadelphia and Barcelona, Spain.

Coey is based in Hong Kong and will manage staff and export market development activities originating in offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taipei. He joined USW in 2015 with more than 25 years of marketing and trade facilitation experience in East Asia, including cotton merchandising in Hong Kong and Beijing, China, and as a lecturer for the master’s degree program at the Hong Kong Baptist University’s School of Communication. Fluent in Mandarin, Coey studied Chinese language and literature at Middlebury College and National Taiwan University. He holds bachelor’s degrees in East Asian Studies and Chinese from the University of Kansas, as well as a master of business administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in international business and marketing.

Weimar started with USW as country director in the Beijing office in 1987 and was assigned as regional director in 1993 in the Hong Kong office where he served for many years before being named Regional Vice President for South Asia and moving to Singapore in 2015. Weimar hails from a wheat and cattle ranch near Arlington, Ore. In addition to farm management, his work experience includes marketing livestock feeds and supplements for Loomix, Inc., and value-added product promotion in Asian markets for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Weimar received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and resource economics from Oregon State University in 1982, graduating with high honors after being named both outstanding undergraduate and senior in OSU’s College of Agriculture.

USW works in more than 100 countries with a mission to “develop, maintain and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities are funded by producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service cost-share programs. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.

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