MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — US Wheat Associates (USW) has elected Michael Peters of Okarche, Oklahoma, US, as its board of directors chairman. Peters will succeed Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, US, who becomes past chairperson.

Also at its Feb. 3 meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the board elected Jim Pellman of McClusky, North Dakota, US, secretary-treasurer; and Clark Hamilton of Ririe, Idaho, US, vice chairman. 

These farmers will begin their 2023-24 leadership roles for USW, the export market development organization for the US wheat industry, at the board’s July meeting.

“After serving as a director on the US Wheat Associates board representing North Dakota, I believe in the mission of the organization,” Pellman said. “This is an ideal time for me to put my experience to work for wheat farmers beyond my county and state. I’m looking forward to doing what I can to help the organization continue building export demand in a very competitive global market.”

Pellman is serving his second, four-year term on the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC), serving as Sheridan County representative since 2014. Pellman is NDWC vice chairman and is liaison on transportation issues and the North Dakota Rail Council, as representative to the North Dakota Grain Growers Association, and a voting member of the SBARE Wheat Granting Committee. 

Hamilton spent several years serving and representing Idaho wheat and barley farmers as an executive officer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), including one year as president, and has been a board member of Ririe Grain and Feed Cooperative Inc., for several years. He is currently one of five wheat growers appointed as a commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission and served as chair of that organization.

Peters serves on the Mid-Oklahoma Coop board of directors and on the Plains Partners Coop Board, a division of CHS. He currently serves as a commissioner and chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He has participated in several farm leadership programs sponsored by CHS and the National Wheat Foundation. 

Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years, serving as chair from 2010-12. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a longtime member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. As a USW director, she served on the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Budget Committee. 

USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six US wheat classes.