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.”
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 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.
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.
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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.