DES MOINES, IOWA, US — Chad Willis, a farmer from Minnesota representing the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, has been elected as chairman of the US Grains Council (USGC) board.

Chad Willis, chairman of the USGC board. Photo courtesy of USGC.

“I was drawn to the Council because I need dependable markets to sustain my farming operation,” Willis said. “But as I’ve served the Council and, as I’ve been able to see firsthand by traveling to other countries, it’s a two-way street – to be successful, we need each other. As we recognize the importance of our grain markets, we must continue to build on our value-added markets for DDGS and ethanol. The value of global trade has so much potential if we work together to access them.”

Willis has been farming since 1997 and has worked in both the corn milling and feed industries. After joining the USGC, he served on both the Value-Added Advisory Team (A-Team) and was a vocal advocate for creating the USGC’s Ethanol A-Team before serving on the USGC’s board of directors and being to the Council’s officer rotation.

Three others were also elected to the board including:

  • Brent Boydston of Bayer Crop, secretary-treasurer
  • Verity Ulibarri of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, at-large director
  • Jay Fischer of the Missouri Corn Growers Association, at-large director

Jim Raben, outgoing chairman, said in remarks to USGC delegates that the organization is fortunate to have many qualified individuals passionate about the agricultural industry in leadership positions at the USGC.

“Our new chairman, the board of directors and the board of delegates provide excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities in the international trade arena,” Raben said.

The full USGC Board of Directors is now as follows:

  • Chad Willis, Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council –chairman
  • Joshua Miller, Indiana Corn Marketing Council – vice chairman
  • Brent Boydston, Bayer Crop Science – secretary-treasurer
  • Verity Ulibarri, United Sorghum Checkoff Program - at-large director
  • Jay Fischer, Missouri Corn Growers Association – at-large director
  • Greg Hibner, J.D. Heiskell Hawkeye Gold – agribusiness sector director
  • Mark Wilson, Illinois Corn Marketing Board – corn sector director
  • Jim Massey, United Sorghum Checkoff Program – sorghum sector director
  • Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, state checkoff sector director
  • Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy – Agribusiness-Ethanol and Co-Products sector director
  • Nathan Boll, North Dakota Barley Council – barley sector director
  • Ryan LeGrand, US Grains Council – president and chief executive officer