Kessler Named USGC Director of Communications

The U.S. Grains Council is pleased to announce the hire of Melissa George Kessler as the USGC director of communications at the Washington, D.C., headquarters.

“Melissa has a strong communications background and has worked extensively with agricultural media,” said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. “She will bring a new perspective to the job and help strengthen our communications efforts.”

As director of communications, Kessler will design and execute aggressive communications strategies to raise the profile of USGC experts, expertise and its mission. She will develop and lead the Council’s overall communications initiatives and public relations efforts, including internal and external communication strategies.

“Melissa is excited about broadening her international perspective,” Sleight said,” and I am very pleased to have her join the Council in a month, just in time for our Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Omaha.”

Kessler is currently a consultant focusing primarily on communications and organizational effectiveness. Previously, she had served for seven years as the National Association of Wheat Growers’ director of communications. In that position Kessler managed the association’s media relations, created and maintained NAWG’s digital presence, actively participated in the association’s policy-setting process and more.

She is replacing Marri Carrow who recently was promoted to regional director of the Western Hemisphere based in Panama.

Kessler holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in political science and master’s degree in organization development from American University. Her first day at the Council will be July 18, 2014, and on that date she will be reachable at and 202-789-0789.

Welcome aboard, Melissa!

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