|ARLINGTON, Virginia — The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors elected new officers for the organization’s 2023/24 (July to June) fiscal year at their meeting Feb. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Jim Pellman of McClusky, N.D., as Secretary-Treasurer; Clark Hamilton of Ririe, Idaho, as Vice Chairman; Michael Peters of Okarche, Okla., as Chairman; and Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minn., as Past Chairperson. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles during the USW board meeting in July 2023 in Minneapolis, Minn.
USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry.
“After serving as a director on the U.S. Wheat Associates board representing North Dakota, I believe in the mission of the organization,” Pellman said. “This is an ideal time for me to put my experience to work for wheat farmers beyond my county and state. I’m looking forward to doing what I can to help the organization continue building export demand in a very competitive global market.”
Jim Pellman and his wife, Candace, have two children and grow wheat, barley, canola, corn, and soybeans on the farm they started in 1990 near McClusky, N.D. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from North Dakota State University, Pellman worked as an ag lender and county supervisor with Farmers Home Administration and then several years as a community banker. He served as Chief and on the board of his community’s volunteer fire department and as chairman of a local non-profit housing organization. Pellman is serving his second, four-year term on the North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC), serving as Sheridan County representative since 2014. Pellman is NDWC vice-chairman and is liaison on transportation issues and the North Dakota Rail Council, as representative to the North Dakota Grain Growers Association, and a voting member of the SBARE Wheat Granting Committee.
Clark Hamilton and his wife, Kristy own Hamilton Triple C Farms, a 6,000-acre diversified family farm in eastern Idaho, that they operate with their two sons. They grow four specific wheat classes as well as barley, potatoes, pulses, and alfalfa. Hamilton spent several years serving and representing Idaho wheat and barley farmers as an executive officer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), including one year as president, and has been a board member of Ririe Grain and Feed Cooperative, Inc., for several years. While serving in those roles, he became very familiar with the local, state and national issues impacting agriculture and particularly wheat. He is currently one of five wheat growers appointed as a commissioner on the Idaho Wheat Commission and served as chair of that organization. Hamilton remains active in leadership roles in his church and community.
Michael Peters is a farmer and rancher growing hard red winter wheat and canola, and grazing stocker cattle on wheat. He serves on the Mid-Oklahoma Coop board of directors and on the Plains Partners Coop Board, a division of CHS, and is a member of the Okarche Rural Fire Fighters’ Association Board. He has also served as President of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He currently serves as a Commissioner and Chairman of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He has participated in several farm leadership programs sponsored by CHS and the National Wheat Foundation. Peters and his wife Linda have two sons who work with him and his father on their farm.
Rhonda Larson was raised on her family’s Red River Valley farm and engaged full-time in the operation for nearly 30 years. Her father started the farm growing potatoes, wheat and barley. With her two brothers and her son, the third generation on the farm, they currently grow wheat and sugarbeets. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years; serving 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. As a USW director, she served on the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Budget Committee. Larson received a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a juris doctor’s degree in law from the University of North Dakota.
U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to “develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers.” USW activities in more than 100 countries are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 15 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.