ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — The US Wheat Associates (USW) announced on Aug. 30 the hiring of two staff members.

Peter Laudeman joins USW as director of trade policy. He is a government affairs professional with more than four years of experience in trade association and corporate policy advocacy.

“I am excited to welcome Peter Laudeman to the USW team,” said Dalton Henry, vice president of policy at USW. “He brings a diverse set of experiences working for both growers and the crop protection industry, which will serve him well in the trade policy role. In addition to traditional trade policy, we look forward to Peter’s leadership on food assistance and development as well as the use and adoption of technology by US wheat farmers.”

USW_Peter Laudeman_director trade policyPeter Laudeman

 Laudeman most recently was political affairs manager with Corteva Agriscience in Washington, DC, US, where he led the biotechnology issues portfolio and the company’s carbon and ecosystem services advocacy.

Before joining Corteva, Laudeman was a legislative assistant with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). There he supported the NCGA’s advocacy work on the 2018 farm bill and led policy research and economic analysis related to farm programs.

Laudeman grew up in Sherman, Illinois, US, and received a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.

USW also announced the hiring of Ralph Loos as director of communications. He comes to the organization with nearly 14 years of experience in agriculture communications, serving both the grain and livestock industries. He replaces Amanda Spoo, who left USW for another position in July.

USW_Ralph Loos director of communicationsRalph Loos

 “Ralph’s experience working with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service cooperator organizations and his enthusiasm for the marketing communications profession is a great fit for US Wheat Associates,” said Steve Mercer, vice president of communications at USW. “I think the wheat farmers we represent in overseas markets, our state wheat commission members and his colleagues are going to be very pleased with his work.”

He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Southern Illinois University in 2008.

Loos began his ag career as communications specialist for the US Soybean Export Council. He then worked as editor and communications manager for the American Sheep Industry Association.  In 2015, Loos joined the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) as its communications director. In August 2021, Loos took a year-long leave from ag communications to work as communications manager for a Denver, Colorado, US-based health care startup that specializes in staffing public health departments and setting up emergency COVID testing and vaccination clinics.

“While I valued the health care communications experience, I am happy to return to my roots and look forward to doing what I can to help support the US wheat industry,” Loos said.