Up-and-Coming Council Leadership Infuses Energy Into USGC

As the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recognizes long-time leaders, it’s also important to honor the up-and-coming member representatives who will form the Council's talented leadership in the future. 

Examples of this are six grower leaders with five years of service who are already making their marks through the A-teams or on the Council’s Board of Directors:

  • Darren Armstrong from the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina;
  • Adam Baldwin with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program;
  • James Born, National Sorghum Producers;
  • Don Duvall, Illinois Corn Marketing Board;
  • Mark Heckman, Iowa Corn Promotion Board; and
  • Philip McCoun of the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council. 

Armstrong serves on the Council’s Board of Directors as an at-large director, and the remaining five hold seats on the Council's Advisory Teams, which provide crucial input into the organization's long-term plans.  

Reflecting on his Council experience, Baldwin says it has delivered much more than he expected. 

“It’s definitely opened my eyes to a more worldwide perspective,” he said. “The most exciting for me was when we started to really promote sorghum in China. I was fortunate to be on the first producer trade mission just before they began imports, so I was able to assess how the groundwork was laid, recognize the various barriers to trade, and see how we could address them.” 

Duvall discussed a recent trip to roll out the Council’s 2016 corn quality report in Colombia. 

“Colombia imports a significant amount of U.S. corn, and we met with the companies that buy most of it,” he explained. “It was enlightening to me to learn about exports to that market, but it was also very eye-opening to see what the Council does. I was hugely impressed with the work the Grains Council does in Colombia and other countries.”

Being active in the Council demands a lot of time, but Duvall, like other members, is quick to say he is definitely finding it worthwhile.