U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) wishes all the best to our friend and colleague Janice Cooper as she retires as Managing Director of the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) at the end of the month. A long-time friend of the U.S. wheat industry, Cooper has had various roles putting her in direct contact with U.S. wheat farmers and customers.
“Six years ago, we negotiated an employment contract, signed it and Janice was on the job within an hour at her first Wheat Marketing Center full board meeting. No drama, just a calculated approach to move ahead as managing director. Her background in lab services, market development and education made her perfectly suited to lead the industry’s Portland operation as the technical crossroads of the world,” said Bill Flory, WMC chairperson and Idaho wheat farmer. “Janice’s calm demeanor and consideration for employees, public and proprietary partners, and the board of directors have served us well. WMC is in a great position to continue enhancing growers’ profitability by better understanding U.S. wheat’s strengths and competitive standing worldwide because of our Janice Cooper.”
Before joining the Wheat Marketing Center in 2015, Cooper spent six years as the Executive Director of the California Wheat Commission and earlier managed the California Association of Wheat Growers. In addition to her experience in the wheat industry, Cooper has a broad background in business development and trade policy in the banking, high tech and renewable energy sectors. Cooper was also a member of the Grain Industry Advisory Committee, the private sector group appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to advise the Federal Grain Inspection Service on its programs and priorities.
Located in the historic Albers Mill Building in Portland, Ore., WMC is a research and educational bridge between U.S. wheat farmers and their customers, dedicated to linking quality wheat and quality end products. In April 2022, Mike Moran joined WMC as its new executive director, giving him three months of overlap with Cooper to ensure a smooth transition
“I first had the pleasure to meet Janice when she was with the California Wheat Commission, and our paths were destined to cross again after she took the helm at WMC. In both roles, I have appreciated her counsel and her passion for the wheat industry, and farmers in particular,” said WMC Executive Director Mike Moran. “As I have had the opportunity to walk beside Janice these last few months, I am struck by the depth and breadth of the relationships she has developed throughout the wheat world. I am pleased to be following in her footsteps. The legacy she has built inspires me to honor that commitment to ensuring that U.S. wheat farmers and the fruits of their labor remain the quality choice for customers worldwide. I am proud that I can call her both mentor and friend.”
“Janice has helped guide WMC through an unprecedented time of global uncertainty, and her steady leadership has been an asset to both WMC and the industry at large,” said WMC Technical Director Jayne Bock. “While we are sad to see her go, we’re pleased that she has helmed a transition that sets a new path for Mike Moran and WMC going forward. We wish her all the best as she returns to California to spend more time with her family.”
“Janice Cooper’s friendly, outgoing nature and intellectual curiosity gave her the ability to make foreign guests and wheat producers alike feel welcome and included at the Wheat Marketing Center,” said USW Vice President and West Coast Office Director Steve Wirsching. “She brought superior management skills and calm leadership that allowed everyone around her to reach their full potential. She was able to resolve conflicts equitably and move the organization forward. We are all sad to see her leave.”
Janice, thank you for your service to U.S. wheat farmers.