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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and welcome the announcement that the European Union and the United States have mutually agreed to a four-month suspension of tariffs related to the World Trade Organization (WTO) aircraft disputes. This break removes the tariff barrier on U.S. hard red spring wheat imports by EU countries.

Following is a joint statement from USW President Vince Peterson and NAWG CEO Chandler Goule:

“We want to thank the Biden Administration and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for reaching this agreement. Our organizations encourage both parties to come to a long-term resolution to avoid future tariffs and supply chain disruptions.”

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About U.S. Wheat Associates
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.

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) announces that Regional Vice President for South Asia Matt Weimar plans to retire Aug. 31, 2021, after 34 years with the export market development organization. Current Regional Vice President for Philippines and Korea Joe Sowers will take Weimar’s position and move from Manila, Philippines, to USW’s South Asian regional office in Singapore.

“We cannot thank Matt Weimar enough for his work building U.S. wheat export demand in China and South Asia,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “He developed trusted relationships and goodwill with China’s milling and baking industries that will keep benefiting wheat producers into the future. And over the past several years he has applied that experience in helping our teams position U.S. wheat as the preferred source of flour for hundreds of wheat food products across South Asia.”

USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mike Spier is confident that regional success will continue under Joe Sowers.

“Joe has excelled in every position he has held with U.S. Wheat Associates over 16 years,” Spier said. “He earned experience managing export market development activities in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean before taking a leadership role in the Philippines and Korea. Joe’s enthusiastic work with his teams has helped develop the Philippines and kept Korea as top U.S. wheat destinations. We look forward to expanding Joe’s leadership in a growing South Asian wheat market.”  

portrait photo of Matt Weimar

Matt Weimar

Matt Weimar started with USW as country director in the Beijing office in 1987, became Regional Director in the USW/Hong Kong office in 1993 and started his current position in 2015. Weimar hails from a wheat and cattle ranch near Arlington, Ore., where he worked in his family’s business and helped manage adjacent wheat and cattle ranches. Weimar received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and resource economics in 1982 from Oregon State University, which named him an outstanding undergraduate and senior in the College of Agriculture. Other work experience included marketing livestock feeds and supplements for Loomix, Inc., and value-added product promotion in Asian markets for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

portrait photo of Joe Sowers

Joe Sowers

Joe Sowers 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 office in Mexico City as assistant regional director with responsibility for Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. In 2011 he became Assistant Regional Director for South Asia in Manila with a focus on the Philippines. He was promoted to Regional Vice President for the Philippines and Korea in 2018. Sowers 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.

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 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 Tom 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 
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.

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 dependable people along the export supply system maintain the U.S. wheat export reliability and its wholesome character. 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.”

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 reliability and 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.

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. – 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.

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Washington, D.C. – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is set to cross its final hurdle to entry today as the three countries certify the agreement’s “entry into force.” This final step means that all required legislative and regulatory changes needed to implement the agreement have been put into place or are scheduled to take effect.

“A completed USMCA finally gets us past the uncertainty and that is welcome news to U.S. wheat growers,” said U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairman and Paulding, Ohio, wheat farmer Doug Goyings. “Especially as we now see an opportunity for U.S. negotiators to take this as a gold standard agreement and launch negotiations with other countries, where U.S. wheat growers face tariff and non-tariff barriers.”

“After years of hard work, we are excited to see USMCA be put into action. USMCA is not only vital for farmers but essential to help grow the rural economy,” stated NAWG President and Cass City, Mich., farmer Dave Milligan. “The wheat industry thanks Congress and the Administration for helping to put this trade deal into effect.”

While there will be little direct change for U.S. wheat exports headed to Mexico, the agreement’s entry into force is a prime example of no news being an indicator of good news. The new agreement tightens coordination over sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules and other non-tariff trade issues, but most importantly it places certainty back in the trading relationship with USW’s largest export market. In the marketing year 2019/20, which ended May 31, 2020, Mexico purchased more than 3.87 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. wheat valued at $881 million.

On the other side of the continent, Canada published the new rules for U.S. farmers hoping to deliver wheat into the Canadian grain handling system. Those new rules, allowing U.S. grown wheat brought across the border to Canadian grain elevators to be graded on a level playing field, are a significant step in furthering equal trade between the countries’ wheat growers. U.S. farmers wishing to take advantage of this new provision will need to grow wheat varieties registered in Canada’s Variety Registration System.

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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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Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture held a business meeting to markup the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act (GSA) of 2020. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the Committee for their bipartisan work to move the bill forward and reauthorize the GSA through September 30, 2025.

“Thanks in part to the advantage and premium international buyers place on the grain inspection system, U.S. wheat continues to maintain its competitiveness in the international market. Given the current uncertainty in trade agreements and many of the bearish factors working against U.S. wheat exports, it is critical we maintain one of our key advantages,” said National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Cass City, Mich., farmer Dave Milligan. “To avoid any disruption in inspection services and keep the flow of grain moving NAWG encourages Congress to act quickly to reauthorize the Grain Standards Act before expiration in September.”

The United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020, introduced by Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), extends the authorization for the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue providing inspection services and to maintain an official marketing standard for certain grains and oilseeds. On July 31, 2019 Kansas wheat farmer Brian Linin testified to the Senate Committee on Agriculture on behalf of NAWG in support of reauthorization of GSA. Linin also serves on the Kansas Wheat Commission and is a U.S. Wheat Associates board member.

“Our exports markets are critical to U.S. wheat farmers’ bottom lines as they see 50 percent of U.S. wheat exported each year,” said U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairman and Paulding, Ohio, wheat farmer Doug Goyings. “The grain inspection system is one of our key advantages over our competitors that has helped wheat and other U.S. commodities grow export markets. Our overseas customers value the independent system in place through the Grain Standards Act.”

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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) is pleased to announce the addition of Dylan Davidson as its summer intern in the USW headquarters office in Arlington, Va. Davidson’s primary responsibility will be working with the communications department on a number of activities such as social media development, blog post feature writing, video production and more. 

“We are very pleased that Dylan will be working with us and that he decided to conduct his internship here in Arlington, Va,” said Steve Mercer, USW Vice President of Communications. “Our organization also thanks the AAEA Professional Improvement Foundation for the scholarships that makes this internship possible.” 

Dylan Davidson Portrait

Dylan Davidson

Davidson received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University this past May. While at Texas Tech, he interned with the House Committee on Agriculture as the 2018 Farm Bill was developed, and with Picador Creative, a strategic commutations center at Texas Tech, as a video production intern. 

“It won’t be a typical experience, but it’s also a really unique opportunity for growth in adversity, hard work, creativity, communication and risk management in ways that wouldn’t have existed outside of this pandemic,” said Amanda Spoo, USW Director of Communications. “As our organization celebrates its 40th anniversary, we look ahead to what other changes and opportunities are in store for us and, we are also excited to learn from Dylan’s own experience and skills.” 

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, 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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TAIPEI, Taiwan – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), which represents the interest of U.S. wheat farmers in export markets, announces that Wei-lin Chou has joined the staff in its Taipei, Taiwan, office as a Technical Specialist.   

“Our goal was to hire someone with the most technical wheat food background and Wei-lin was the best candidate,” said Jeff Coey, USW Regional Vice President for China and Taiwan. “His cereal chemist background will be ideally suited to the already advanced stages of technical know-how among our customers in Taiwan.” 

Wei-lin Chou

Chou earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agriculture chemistry from National Taiwan University. Working in the Laboratory of Chemistry and Application of Biomaterials, his thesis focused on improving rice bread quality by adjusting heat, moisture and enzyme treatments. Chou also worked in the Laboratory of Pesticides and Environmental Toxicants extracting toxicants and organic compounds from polluted water for analysis. 

Chou brings experience as an assistant researcher for the China Grain Products Research and Development Institute and in technical sales for Thailand-based company Starpro Starch Co. 

“Wei-lin also has a proven ability to apply his technical skills to solve the kinds of challenges our customers see,” said Coey. 

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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