The delegates of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) elected Darren Armstrong, a farmer from North Carolina representing the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina, as chairman of its Board of Directors at its 59th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting on Wednesday.
“To be successful with global trade, you have to find a way to make it happen,” said Armstrong during his incoming comments, announcing his chairman year’s theme “Make Something Happen.”
“That’s why I identify with the Council’s mission,” he said. “Council staff plant seeds where there is opportunity, where the promise of demand can only be matched by the willingness to do the work. The Council does this work every day.”
Armstrong grew up working on his family’s farm alongside his father and two brothers. He has been farming for 26 years in Hyde County, North Carolina, currently producing corn, soybeans and wheat. He studied at the Agricultural Institute of North Carolina State University and has completed industry leadership trainings. He has also won the North Carolina Farm Bureau Discussion Meet as well as the North Carolina Farm Bureau Achievement Award.
Armstrong has been a Council delegate for five years and previously served as the Council’s Trade Policy Advisory Team (A-Team) leader in 2015 and 2016.
Also at their meeting Wednesday, the Board of Delegates elected as secretary-treasurer Chad Willis of the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council. Additionally, two at-large directors were selected, Brent Boydston, representing Bayer Crop Science, and Josh Miller, representing the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.
The full U.S. Grains Council Board of Directors is now as follows:
- Darren Armstrong – Chairman
- Jim Raben – Vice Chairman
- Chad Willis – Secretary-Treasurer
- Jim Stitzlein – Past Chairman
- Duane Aistrope – At-Large Director
- Brent Boydston – At-Large Director
- Josh Miller – At-Large Director
- Ryan Wagner – At-Large Director
- Ray Defenbaugh – Agribusiness-Ethanol and Co-Products Sector Director
- Greg Hibner – Agribusiness Sector Director
- Mark Seastrand – Barley Sector Director
- Wayne Humphreys – Corn Sector Director
- Charles Ray Huddleston – Sorghum Sector Director
- Tadd Nicholson – Checkoff Sector Director
- Ryan LeGrand – President and CEO
Stitzlein, the outgoing chairman, said the Council is fortunate to have many qualified individuals passionate about the agricultural industry in leadership positions at the Council.
“Our new chairman, the Board of Directors, Board of Delegates, Sector Directors, A-Team leaders and staff provide excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities in the international trade arena,” Stitzlein said.
The elections Wednesday concluded a week of the Council’s meetings in Cincinnati, focused on current market challenges and new opportunities for demand through work in emerging market and with new funding from the USDA’s market development programs.
More from the meeting is available on social media, using the hashtag #grains19.
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 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 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.