USW Rutger Koekoek
Rutger Koekoek

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. – U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announced the promotion of Rutger Koekoek on Sept. 21, from marketing specialist to regional marketing director for Europe. Koekoek joined USW in 2009 and is based in the organization’s regional office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. USW is an export market development organization for U.S. wheat farmers.

“We are recognizing Rutger’s work and his successful performance over the past several months filling this regional role as our longtime director Goris van Lit transitioned to retirement,” said Ian Flagg, USW regional vice-president. Flagg manages USW staff and all market development activities in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa from Rotterdam.  

Europe continues to be an important regional market for U.S. wheat. It is the largest export market for northern durum and Desert Durum and flour millers frequently import U.S. hard red spring (HRS) wheat to blend with locally-produced “soft” wheat, according to the USW.

Before joining USW, Koekoek worked in seed sales and marketing management, first with Delta and Pine Land in its Netherlands office. Koekoek managed sales and marketing of cottonseed in Europe and directly managed Delta and Pine Land's Turkish subsidiary. Koekoek also worked as a marketing product manager for Dutch vegetable seed producer De Ruiter Seeds, where he steered the development and product lifecycle for pepper and eggplant varieties.

Koekoek received a bachelor’s degree in international management at the Rotterdam Business School and a master’s degree in agricultural economics and marketing from Wageningen Agricultural University.

USW’s mission is to “develop, maintain and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers.” USW is active in more than 100 countries and is made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 U.S. state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). USW maintains 17 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 classes of U.S. wheat, the USW said.