Chad Willis, Minnesota Farmer, Elected U.S. Grains Council Chairman During Hybrid Summer Meeting

The delegates of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) elected Chad Willis, a farmer from Minnesota representing the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, as chairman of its Board of Directors at its 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting, held in Des Moines, Iowa, and virtually on Friday.

“I was drawn to the Council because I need dependable markets to sustain my farming operation. But as I’ve served the Council and, as I’ve been able to see firsthand by traveling to other countries, it’s a two-way street – to be successful, we need each other.,” said Willis in his incoming remarks.

“As we recognize the importance of our grain markets, we must continue to build on our value-added markets for DDGS and ethanol. The value of global trade has so much potential if we work together to access them.”

Willis has been farming since 1997 and has worked in both the corn milling and feed industries. He was a member of the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council before serving on its board. After joining the Council, he served on both the Value-Added Advisory Team (A-Team) and was a vocal advocate for creating the Council’s Ethanol A-Team before serving on the Council’s Board of Directors and being to the Council’s officer rotation in YEAR.

Brent Boydston of Bayer Crop Science has been elected as the Council’s Secretary-Treasurer. Additionally, Verity Ulibarri of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and Jay Fischer, Missouri Corn Growers Association, were elected as at-large directors.

The full USGC Board of Directors is now as follows:

– Chad Willis, Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council –Chairman

– Joshua Miller, Indiana Corn Marketing Council – Vice Chairman

– Brent Boydston, Bayer Crop Science – Secretary-Treasurer

– Verity Ulibarri, United Sorghum Checkoff Program – At-Large Director

– Jay Fischer, Missouri Corn Growers Association – At-Large Director

– Greg Hibner, J.D. Heiskell Hawkeye Gold – Agribusiness Sector Director

– Mark Wilson, Illinois Corn Marketing Board – Corn Sector Director

– Jim Massey, United Sorghum Checkoff Program – Sorghum Sector Director

– Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, State Checkoff Sector Director

– Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy – Agribusiness-Ethanol and Co-Products Sector Director

– Nathan Boll, North Dakota Barley Council – Barley Sector Director

– Ryan LeGrand, U.S. Grains Council – President and CEO

Outgoing Chairman Jim Raben said in remarks to Council delegates that the organizations fortunate to have many qualified individuals passionate about the agricultural industry in leadership positions at the Council.

“Our new chairman, the Board of Directors and the Board of Delegates provide excellent insight into the challenges and opportunities in the international trade arena,” Raben said.

Earlier in the week, the Council’s meeting included USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack who spoke in person, an update on the Council’s various overseas markets and the future of U.S. agriculture including sustainability’s role in it.

More from the meeting is available on social media, using the hashtag #grains21.

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

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.