ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announced on May 26 that Joe Sowers has been named assistant regional director for South Asia, in Manila, Philippines, to replace Shane Townsend, who has left USW to pursue other interests.

In addition, Market Analyst Chad Weigand will take Sowers' current position of assistant regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, in Mexico City, Mexico. Sowers and Weigand will transition to their new positions over the next few months. The organization has started a search to fill the market analyst position in its Arlington, Virginia, U.S., headquarters.

Sowers joined USW in 2005 and served as senior market analyst until 2008 when he was promoted to assistant regional director in Mexico City. In that position, he worked to promote U.S. wheat to buyers, flour millers and wheat food processors in the region. Sowers earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master's degree in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech.

From 2000 to 2004 he was an economist in the International Agriculture division of Global Insight Inc., an econometric forecasting firm, developing and maintaining models to forecast global crop and livestock supply and demand. In his new position, Sowers will report to Regional Vice- President for South Asia Mike Spier who is based in Singapore.

Weigand joined USW in 2009. He studied international relations and business administration at the University of San Diego in California and earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, New York, New York, U.S., in 2008. He has worked at the Brookings Institution as a communications specialist and as an economic consultant for the Financial Superintendent of Colombia. Among several internships, Weigand worked in the Office of Trade Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service in 2007 following two years as an agribusiness specialist in Ecuador with the Peace Corps.