USA – The export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors have elected new officers for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Rhonda K. Larson was appointed secretary-treasurer; Darren Padget as vice-chairman; and Doug Goyings was named chairman.

The three elected, all farmers from different regions will start their leadership roles at the firm effective June 2019 in Montana when current chairman Chris Kolstad will step down.

Darren Padget grows wheat on 3,400 acres on an annual basis and previously held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010.

Goyings grows soft red winter wheat with more than 35 years of experience representing wheat and Ohio agriculture.

He has been a member of the USW board while serving as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee.

Kolstad is a commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and grows hard red winter wheat, dark northern spring wheat and durum, barley and dry peas.

He has represented his state on the USW board since 2012 and is an active member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau.

Rhonda K. Larson is from East Grand Forks, Minnesota and grows hard red spring wheat and sugarbeets on family farm.

She has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 16 years and served as chair from 2010-12.

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.

Speaking on the new leadership, Rhonda K. Larson said: “As farmers we need to make a profit and part of the way to do that is to make it a priority to improve wheat quality and continue to bring quality wheat to the world.

“I have always had an interest in being on the U.S. Wheat Associates officer team. My role on the farm has changed and I am now able to dedicate the time necessary to serve.

I am humbled by the respect and encouragement I have received from wheat farmers in Minnesota and from the other U.S. Wheat directors and I will do my best to represent them well.”