CINCINNATI, OHIO, U.S. — The delegates of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) elected Darren Armstrong, representing the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina, as chairman of its board of directors at its 59th annual board of delegates meeting on July 31.

“To be successful with global trade, you have to find a way to make it happen,” said Armstrong during his incoming comments, announcing his chairman year’s theme “Make Something Happen.”

 “That’s why I identify with the Council’s mission,” he said. “Council staff plant seeds where there is opportunity, where the promise of demand can only be matched by the willingness to do the work. The Council does this work every day.”

 Armstrong grew up working on his family’s farm alongside his father and two brothers. He has been farming for 26 years in Hyde County, North Carolina, U.S., growing corn, soybeans and wheat. He studied at the Agricultural Institute of North Carolina State University and has completed industry leadership trainings. He also has won the North Carolina Farm Bureau Discussion Meet as well as the North Carolina Farm Bureau Achievement Award.

 Armstrong has been a USGC delegate for five years and previously was the council’s Trade Policy Advisory Team (A-Team) leader in 2015 and 2016.

 Also at the meeting, the board of delegates elected its secretary-treasurer, Chad Willis of the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council.

Additionally, two at-large directors were selected, Brent Boydston, representing Bayer Crop Science, and Josh Miller, representing the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.

The full USGC board of directors is now as follows:

  • Darren Armstrong — chairman
  • Jim Raben — vice-chairman
  • Chad Willis — secretary-treasurer
  • Jim Stitzlein—- past chairman
  • Duane Aistrope — At-Large director
  • Brent Boydston — At-Large director
  • Josh Miller — At-Large director
  • Ryan Wagner — At-Large director
  • Ray Defenbaugh — Agribusiness-Ethanol and Co-Products Sector director
  • Greg Hibner — Agribusiness Sector director
  • Mark Seastrand — Barley Sector director
  • Wayne Humphreys — Corn Sector director
  • Charles Ray Huddleston — Sorghum Sector director
  • Tadd Nicholson — Checkoff Sector director
  • Ryan LeGrand — president and chief executive officer

Stitzlein, the outgoing chairman, said the USGC is fortunate to have many qualified individuals passionate about the agricultural industry in leadership positions at the council.

 “Our new chairman, the board of directors, board of delegates, sector directors, A-Team leaders and staff provide excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities in the international trade arena,” Stitzlein said.

The elections concluded a week of the council’s meetings in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., focused on current market challenges and new opportunities for demand through work in emerging markets and with new funding from the USDA’s market development programs.