CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, US — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) presented several awards during its 126th annual convention, which hosted more than 600 members March 13-15 at the Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, US.

Jay Debertin, chairman and chief executive officer of CHS Inc.; Pat Bowe, president and CEO of The Andersons Inc.; and Nathan Gonzales, elections analyst at CQ Roll Call, also delivered presentations and answered questions from members fielded by Mike Seyfert, president and CEO of the NGFA.

The NGFA announced the inaugural recipient of the Randall C. Gordon Award for Excellence in Industry Service is Max Mobley, general manager at The Arthur Companies. Named after Randy Gordon, who retired from the NGFA last year after 43 years with the association, including eight as president and CEO, this award is presented to the NGFA committee member whose exceptional service has contributed greatly to the goals of the grain, feed and processing industry during the year. 

JoAnn Brouillette, NGFA immediate past chairman and president and managing partner of Demeter LP, presented the 2022 Distinguished Service Award to Eric Wilkey, president of Arizona Grain, Inc. Wilkey has served the past eight years as an NGFA officer and immediate past chairman, and prior to that on several committees and task forces while chairing the Foundation Trustees 2011-19 and the 2017 Long Range Plan task force.

During her Chairman’s Address on March 14, Brouillette emphasized the convention theme of “Adapting, Advocating and Advancing” through unpredictable economic and political climates.  

“We’ve managed and navigated the risks of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic and unprecedented supply chain disruptions,” she said. “And as we look to the future, this need to adapt and manage change takes on even greater meaning this year as we advocate for our industry with free market principles and advance through an increasingly partisan and unpredictable environment.”

Brouillette highlighted several areas in the coming months that will require member advocacy and participation, including the importance of responsible working lands conservation programs, expanded market access for US agricultural products, protection from one-size-fits all mandates for agribusinesses and sharing the efforts of the grain and feed industry with the general public.