National Wheat Foundation Board Seated at Commodity Classic

March 8, 2012 Bookmark and Share

Nine wheat farmers and longtime industry participants have been selected to lead a revitalized and restructured National Association of Wheat Growers Foundation (NAWGF), doing business as the National Wheat Foundation effective immediately.

The election of a new Foundation Board is the result of a year-and-a-half-long process to enhance the 35-year-old organization’s ability to facilitate collaborations across the wheat chain.

The process began with a strategic planning retreat held in September 2010, at which farmer leaders from the NAWGF and the National Association of Wheat Growers’ (NAWG’s) state associations set a new vision and mission for the organization. Based on that direction, grower-leaders undertook an extensive process of examining the Foundation’s governance structure, programming goals and management of its key asset, the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

At its fall 2011 meeting, the NAWGF voted to amend the Foundation’s articles of incorporation, modifying the organization to make NAWG its sole member.

The amended articles called for the Foundation to begin doing business as the National Wheat Foundation, which wheat leaders believe will be more inclusive of all aspects of the wheat industry, from researchers to bakers.

The articles amendment also reduced the size of the Foundation’s board from 21 to nine members.

New Board members nominated by the NAWG Nominating Committee and approved by the NAWG Board at Commodity Classic include:

  • Joe Anderson, diversified farmer from near Potlatch, Idaho, and member, Idaho Wheat Commission;
  • Steve Joehl, director of industry affairs for wheat and soybean quality traits, Monsanto Company;
  • Phil McLain, Mclain Farms, Statesville, N.C., and past NAWG president;
  • Jimmie Musick, owner/operator Musick Farms;
  • Michael H. Pate, vice president-research and development, Bay State Milling Company;
  • Allen Scarborough, Ph.D., manager, stakeholder relations, Bayer CropScience;
  • Dusty Tallman, owner/operator of Tallman Farms of Brandon, Colo., and past NAWG president;
  • John C. Thaemert, owner/operator, J.T. Farms, vice president and trust officer at Citizens State Bank & Trust Co., Ellsworth, Kan., and past NAWG president; and
  • Hayden Wands, vice president of commodities and ingredients, Bimbo Bakeries USA.

Shortly after their installation, the new Board elected temporary officers, including Musick as chairman, Tallman as vice chairman and Joehl as secretary-treasurer.

“The new National Wheat Foundation will represent the wheat industry’s need to identify and seek resourcing for wheat improvement across the supply chain of production, milling and food manufacturing,” Musick said.

“This restructuring allows the National Wheat Foundation to enhance its identity and begin increasing its influence in the wheat industry.”

“A new Foundation structure that is inclusive of all aspects of the wheat chain is the culmination of NAWG’s grower-leaders having long recognized the need for the wheat industry to increase its impact. The National Wheat Foundation is the tool to do just that,” said Erik Younggren, NAWG president.

“We know wheat has lacked capacity to attract partnerships for wheat research and education, and we firmly believe the changes being made today to the Foundation will enhance our work in those areas, from farm to fork.”

The Foundation plans to continue existing programs, which are managed by the NAWG staff, including three annual leadership training programs; facilitation of wheat industry work on biotechnology solutions and education; and participation with educational coalitions.

In January, the NAWGF Board voted to move forward with plans to renovate the Foundation’s primary asset, the Wheat Growers Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. That project and associated fundraising efforts will now be directed by the newly-elected Board.

NAWG members established the NAWG Foundation in 1977 to undertake charitable, scientific and educational work for the industry. Today, guided by values of grower-centeredness, integrity, honesty and trustworthiness, the National Wheat Foundation’s mission is to purposefully advance the wheat industry through strategic research, education and outreach collaborations.