Wheat Growers Board of Directors welcomes Ken Rau

Farm Forum

Aberdeen — It’s a family affair when it comes to the Rau family and Wheat Growers’ Board of Directors. Ken Rau was elected to the Board in January, replacing his father, Gary, who had served for more than 15 years.

“I’ve been a Wheat Growers member-owner since the early ‘90s,” Rau said. “I want to help our cooperative continue to grow and prosper as we continue to create value for our members.”

Rau farms 2,400 acres near Mobridge, along with a 100-head cattle herd. He also has trucking, custom spraying and custom combine businesses. He and his wife of 23 years have two sons and a daughter, and Rau is optimistic that they all want to continue in the family business.

“They’re all interested in various aspects of agriculture, and it can be difficult for young people to get a start, so we’re hoping they’ll continue on the farm and will become Wheat Growers member-owners, too.”

As the Wheat Growers Board welcomes Rau, it’s also important to note that several other members are involved in other boards and councils.

Board member Jeff Lakner was elected to a four-year term on the Land O’Lakes Board of Directors in February. Lakner represents Region 5, which makes up nine states: South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.

“Wheat Growers has a rich relationship with Land O’Lakes, which made this a natural fit,” Lakner said. “I’ll help provide input and represent the needs and concerns of the region’s member co-ops.”

Glenn Crawford is another Wheat Growers Board member who now has additional duties. He was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Great Plains Advisory Council, representing three states: South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana.

“The Council advises the bank’s senior officers and economists on what the economic conditions of our region are,” Crawford said. “And serving on the Council will help me gain more knowledge and experience that I can bring back to my own operation and the Wheat Growers Board.”

In addition to his work on the Wheat Growers Board, Wally Knock is also the president of The South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center Board of Directors. The Center is funded by 16 producer-based ag organizations and cooperatives, including Wheat Growers.

“The Center’s mission is to promote value-added ag business in the state,” Knock said. “We provide new and existing value-added agribusinesses with services such as project management and business planning.”

“We’re pleased to welcome Ken Rau to the Board and welcome his expertise and input,” Hal Clemensen, President of the Wheat Growers Board of Directors, said. “And as Jeff, Glen and Wally have shown, our Board members extend their efforts to other organizations, all for the ongoing benefit of our member-owners.”