NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, U.S. — Nine wheat farmers and long-time industry participants have been selected to lead a revitalized and restructured National Association of Wheat Growers Foundation (NAWGF), doing business as the National Wheat Foundation effective immediately, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) announced on March 8.

The election of a new board is the result of a year-and-a-half-long process to enhance the 35-year-old organization’s ability to facilitate collaborations across the wheat chain.

At its fall 2011 meeting, the NAWGF voted to amend the foundation’s articles of incorporation, modifying the organization to make NAWG its sole member.

The amended articles called for the foundation to begin doing business as the National Wheat Foundation, which wheat leaders believe will be more inclusive of all aspects of the wheat industry, from researchers to bakers.

The articles amendment also reduced the size of the foundation’s board from 21 to nine members.

New board members nominated by the NAWG Nominating Committee and approved by the NAWG board at Commodity Classic include:

  • Joe Anderson, diversified farmer from near Potlatch, Idaho, U.S., and member, Idaho Wheat Commission;
  • Steve Joehl, director of industry affairs for wheat and soybean quality traits, Monsanto Company;
  • Phil McLain, Mclain Farms, Statesville, North Carolina, U.S., and past NAWG president;
  • Jimmie Musick, owner/operator Musick Farms;
  • Michael H. Pate, vice-president, research and development, Bay State Milling Company;
  • Allen Scarborough, manager, stakeholder relations, Bayer CropScience;
  • Dusty Tallman, owner/operator of Tallman Farms of Brandon, Colo., and past NAWG president;
  • John C. Thaemert, owner/operator, J.T. Farms, vice-president and trust officer at Citizens State Bank & Trust Co., Ellsworth, Kansas, U.S., and past NAWG president; and
  • Hayden Wands, vice-president of commodities and ingredients, Bimbo Bakeries USA.

Shortly after their installation, the new board elected temporary officers, including Musick as chairman, Tallman as vice-chairman and Joehl as secretary-treasurer.

“The new National Wheat Foundation will represent the wheat industry’s need to identify and seek resourcing for wheat improvement across the supply chain of production, milling and food manufacturing,” Musick said. “This restructuring allows the National Wheat Foundation to enhance its identity and begin increasing its influence in the wheat industry.”

The foundation plans to continue existing programs, which are managed by the NAWG staff, including three annual leadership training programs; facilitation of wheat industry work on biotechnology solutions and education; and participation with educational coalitions.

In January, the NAWGF Board voted to move forward with plans to renovate the foundation’s primary asset, the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. That project and associated fundraising efforts will now be directed by the newly-elected board.