The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) sadly shares the passing of Randy Ives – a longtime agribusiness delegate.
The Council honored Ives with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2019. At that time, Ryan LeGrand, formerly an employee of Ives’ and now the USGC president and chief executive officer, recalled the formal and informal leadership roles Ives played in the organization’s development of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol market development programs.
“Having worked for and with Randy for 10 years, I’ve been able to see firsthand the passion he has for the industry and the commitment he has to developing export markets for our products,” LeGrand said. “Over the years, we have become family, rather than just friends or co-workers. I consider him to be my mentor and am very lucky to have had someone like Randy to guide me throughout the better part of my career.”
Ives began his career at a soy-crushing company in Omaha, turning soybeans into meal and oil and learning the power of adding value to agricultural products meant for export. He became a Council member at the suggestion of a colleague, representing various companies over the course of 14 years as a delegate.
In the early years of his time with the Council, much of the work was focused on educating staff members and customers about DDGS production technology and its benefits. When China filed anti-dumping and countervailing duties cases against U.S. DDGS in 2010, Ives assumed a leadership role and interfaced with both DDGS producers and exporters and USGC staff and counsel defending U.S. market access for the feed ingredient.
Later, when the idea came up for developing an ethanol export promotion program within the Council, Ives surveyed board members, past board members, A-team leads and others to identify hurdles to success and develop solutions. This work planted the seeds for the robust market development efforts the Council undertakes on behalf of U.S. ethanol today, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and corn and sorghum organizations.
The Council extends our sympathies to Ives’ family and friends.
“Randy, a fierce competitor in the marketplace, was a uniting force for our industry at a time when it was desperately needed in 2010 when the U.S. DDGS industry faced the AD/CVD cases coming from China,” LeGrand said. “He was extremely loyal to family, friends and co-workers, and was highly respected by colleagues and competitors alike.
“His passing leaves an enormous void, but his legacy will live on for many years to come. He will be sorely missed.”
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.