MANKATO, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Eric Wenberg has joined the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) as executive director. He will serve as the lead staff analyzing trends in the specialty soya and grains industry, including the transportation of these products. He will work with the SSGA board and staff to position the organization to grow into and thrive on a national level.

“We’re pleased that Eric has taken on the role as executive director,” said Curt Petrich, chairman of the SSGA. “His broad knowledge and experience with agricultural exports throughout the world make him well positioned to lead SSGA and develop the organization as a leader in the global food industry.”

Wenberg comes to SSGA after retiring as a member of the Senior Foreign Service, and following an eight-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) serving in American embassies in Ottawa, Pretoria, Warsaw and Moscow.

He was active abroad assisting U.S. agricultural businesses exports, negotiating trade agreements, settling disputes with foreign governments, and speaking and publishing reports on foreign agricultural conditions.

On domestic assignments at USDA headquarters, Wenberg served as assistant deputy administrator of Foreign Service Operations, directing 90 offices abroad.

Earlier positions with the FAS included director of cooperator programs, where Wenberg was responsible for setting financial management and policy for farm bill foreign marketing programs of grants to U.S industry. He was also a representative on the governing board of the American Foreign Service Association.

Wenberg said he’s eager to build on the strides the SSGA has made to connect farmers and consumers.

“Today’s consumers drive decisions about agriculture with their wish to make informed decisions about their preferences and nutrition,” Wenberg said. “SSGA is positioned to drive efficiency and create opportunity in the identity-preserved soy and grain sector, and help businesses and farmers enjoy the price premium they can earn with their hard work fulfilling those consumers' demands.”

Wenberg graduated from the University of Wyoming with a master’s degree in agricultural economics.

Wenberg’s hiring comes shortly after SSGA’s formation following the alliance of Midwest Shippers Association (MSA) and the Northern Food Grade Soybean Association (NFGSA) in February 2019.