New NAWG Officer Team Installed at Commodity Classic

New Orleans, LA—Gordon Stoner, a wheat grower from Montana, was elected to serve as the new President of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) at the Association’s Board of Directors meeting at Commodity Classic.

“I’m looking forward to the year ahead and the challenges facing the American wheat farmer” says Stoner. “In collaboration with our industry partners, NAWG is developing the National Wheat Action Plan which seeks to chart the path forward in returning profitability to wheat and reversing the long term decline in U.S. wheat acres. I see these challenges as opportunities to make the industry stronger, and am excited to meet them head on.”

Gordon manages a fourth-generation farm near Outlook, Mont., in the northeast part of the state. Stoner Farms is a 100 percent no-till, continuous cropping operation raising durum, peas, corn, oil seeds and lentils, along with a commercial cow/calf operation. Gordon’s farm celebrated its centennial in 2009.

Prior to returning to the family farm in 1980, Gordon received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics, obtained his CPA and continued working winters at a local accounting firm though 2002. Gordon and his high-school sweetheart, Bonnie, have four adult children pursuing careers in the Chicago area and on the East Coast.

Additionally, NAWG gained another new officer, Ben Scholz. Ben is a wheat grower from Lavon, Texas. Upon graduation from college in 1969, he began a career in farming/ranching in partnership with his father that continues today with his wife, Beth, as partner in B Scholz Farms. In 1999, Ben diversified his interests by becoming president/CEO of Producers Compress Inc., a business offering warehouse space for lease and cotton storage. Ben’s farming operation consists of wheat, grain sorghum, corn, cotton, soybeans and hay in various rotations year to year.

Ben has been named Farmer of the Year by the Collin County Soil and Water Conservation District; Alumni Ambassador, the highest award an academic department can bestow upon a graduate, awarded by the Agricultural Department of Texas A&M-Commerce University; and won the Brother of the Century award from the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity to serve my fellow farmers and our national association,” said Scholz. “I look forward to getting to know our growers better, so that I can be a stronger voice for our industry. I will strive to assist the officer team to strengthen our association on the local, state and national levels.”

Other NAWG officers elected and installed at the meeting include:
• David Schemm, Kans., vice president
• Jimmie Musick, Okla., treasurer
• Brett Blankenship, Wash., immediate past president

Members of NAWG’s Executive Committee, known as officers, commit to serve five years when they first run for the role of secretary. The NAWG Nominating Committee and NAWG board reaffirm their selection each year as they move into new roles on the officer team.