Wheat Officers

2019-2020 USW Officers, from left: Darren Padget, vice chairman, Oregon; Doug Goyings, chairman, Ohio; Chris Kolstad, past chairman, Montana; and Rhonda Larson, secretary-treasurer, Minnesota.

WHITEFISH, Montana — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors seated new officers at its annual meeting June 12, 2019, in Whitefish, Mont. USW is the export market development organization representing U.S. wheat farmers.

USW officers for 2019/20 are: Chairman Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio; Vice Chairman Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore.; Secretary-Treasurer Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn.; and Past Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont. USW officers were elected to these one-year positions at the January 2019 board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

The board of directors also welcomed representatives of the Alberta Wheat Commission as special guests at their meeting. Geoff Backman, Business Development and Markets Manager, and Gary Stanford, Chairman and a wheat farmer from Lethbridge, Alberta, discussed the Canadian side of the current, shared trade issues. Casey Chumrau, USW marketing manager, Santiago, Chile, and a Montana native, updated the directors on new export opportunities in South America.

Doug Goyings’ family has been farming in northwestern Ohio since 1884. Goyings and his family grow soft red winter (SRW) and have hosted numerous trade teams on their farm. He has served in Ohio and national agricultural leadership positions for 37 years. Goyings has been a member of the USW board since 2009 and is a past chairman of the USW Long-Range Planning Committee. He serves as a director for the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff Board, is a past-president of his local Farm Bureau and has served as a director for the Ohio Veal Growers Inc., Creston Veal, Inc. and Paulding Landmark, Inc.

Darren Padget is a fourth-generation farmer in Oregon’s Sherman County, with a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation currently producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres annually. Previously, Padget held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the NAWG Research and Technology Committee and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, for which he was an officer for 10 years.

Rhonda K. Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and has been engaged in the operation full-time for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm 50 years ago growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow hard red spring (HRS) wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 16 years and served as chair from 2010 to 2012. She served on the Wheat Foods Council board and is a long-time member of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Chris Kolstad is the fourth generation of his family to farm in Montana’s “Golden Triangle” region. He and his wife Vicki have four children, including their son Cary who is a partner in their operation.

They grow hard red winter (HRW) wheat, dark northern spring wheat, durum, barley and dry peas. A commissioner of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Kolstad has been a USW director since 2012. He is also a member of the Montana Grain Growers Association and Montana Farm Bureau. He is a regular blood donor and his community leadership includes past service on the local school board, in his family’s church and on the Montana Commission on Community Service.

USW’s next Board meeting will be held jointly with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Nov. 3-8 in Santa Fe, N.M.

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