WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) announced on April 28 the hiring of Richard “Dick” Kasting as director of strategic relations. As the food and agricultural industry becomes increasingly international, it is necessary to be able to clearly link and understand market demands, opportunities and challenges. The ability to do so and communicate them to our producer members, foreign customers and key policy makers will be one of Kasting’s main responsibilities.

Kasting, a native of Indiana, U.S., moved in 1979 to Washington, D.C., D.C., where he served for six years as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. Leaving the Hill in 1985 for a major trade association, he has since worked in issue advocacy, communications, fundraising and membership development positions in the private and political sectors. In November 2004, Kasting returned to government and accepted an appointment with U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, where he served most recently as manager of congressional affairs.

“Dick brings extensive experience not only as a skilled writer and communicator, but also as a strategic thinker,” said Thomas C. Dorr, USGC president and chief executive officer. “We’re thrilled to have him onboard.”

Kasting will assume his new position at the Council on May 23.