Former U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairman Ron Suppes was seated as Chairman of the Wheat Foods Council (WFC) during the organization’s Summer Board Meeting in Denver. The Kansas producer has been a Kansas Wheat Commissioner for two decades. He has also served as chairman of the Wheat Innovation Center Research Foundation.
Decades of international, domestic experience
Suppes, who was USW Chairman in 2007-2008, has traveled to several foreign markets with USW. He’s helped promote U.S. wheat in more than 30 countries. Although his involvement with the WFC is focused on creating demand for wheat in the domestic market, Suppes recognizes the very different – yet vital – roles that USW and WFC play.
“For wheat farmers, the difference each of these groups make is dramatic,” Suppes said. “I’ve been involved with U.S. Wheat Associates for many years and have seen firsthand the value of the work it does in international markets. I have also experienced how the Wheat Foods Council works to promote the wheat we grow.”
Suppes, who also represents wheat growers on advisory committees to USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office, said state wheat associations and other wheat industry groups should consider becoming involved in the WFC.
“It’s a great opportunity to collaborate on things that affect all of us in the business,” he said.
Many perspectives make up WFC
Suppes will serve a one-year term as WFC Chairman. As a wheat farmer, he brings an important perspective to the WFC leadership spot.
“Ron has already been an integral part of our work and he also provides some continuity to the Chairman position,” said WFC President Tim O’Connor, “The Wheat Foods Council is a unique organization. Our membership includes the entire wheat value chain. We are made up of millers, bakers, ingredient suppliers and equipment companies. But grower organizations and growers like Ron are also important pieces of our membership. We are excited to have a wheat farmer like Ron help push us forward.”
Busy week in Denver
Other members of the WFC officer team for 2023-24 are Vice Chair Mark Hotze, of Corbion; Treasurer-Secretary Britany Hurst Marchant, Executive Director of the Idaho Wheat Commission; and Kent Juliot, of Ardent Mills, as Immediate Past Chair.
Along with seating of a new officer team, WFC’s Summer Board Meeting featured a Communicators Workshop and a review of 2022-23 marketing programs. The organization also took a look ahead at programs scheduled for the coming year. WFC also introduced Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) as its new marketing agency to handle program work.