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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