On July 1, Darren Armstrong, a past U.S. Grains Council (USGC) chairman and grain farmer from North Carolina, assumed his role as director for MAIZALL – the international maize alliance.
“I appreciate the opportunity and my peers’ confidence in me to assume this role. I look forward to working with other growers to do some good work for our industry,” Armstrong said.
MAIZALL was established in 2013 by leaders from the Council, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), ABRAMILHO (Brazilian Association of Corn Producers) and MAIZAR (the Argentine corn and sorghum federation). Growers in all three countries work together to resolve shared problems with non-tariff barriers in global markets, primarily related to agricultural biotechnology, plant breeding innovation and crop protection.
“I think it’s important to have a farmer’s voice involved in the discussions around these important issues,” Armstrong said. “I am excited to work with our MAIZALL partners to address existing regulatory challenges as they relate to the approval of new technologies and work to address other market access challenges.”
MAIZALL’s farmer directors advocate for these innovations through position papers and discussions with private sector stakeholders, national government officials and others from international organizations such as the European Union, the World Trade Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Additionally, MAIZALL directors often speak at international conferences where they can bring their practical farm experiences to the table.
“The Council is grateful for the commitment Darren Armstrong has made as he carries on the legacy of many U.S. Grains Council farmer leaders who have represented U.S. corn interests on the world stage,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO. “Darren will continue advocating for crop breeding technologies, crop protection products and advanced farming practices that are needed to feed the growing world.”
Armstrong farms alongside his father and two brothers. They produce corn, wheat and soybeans in eastern North Carolina, while also operating a seed cleaning business.
His work with the Council began in 2009 as a delegate for the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina. He moved up through the ranks, serving on the Trade Policy Advisory Team (A-Team), then as the A-Team’s leader and finally running for a spot on the USGC officer team, where he served as the organization’s chairman in 2019.
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.