A longtime farmer who has become an international representative of U.S. corn producers has been named the 2009 distinguished alumnus of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program.

Charles Ring of San Patricio County, who farms 7,000 acres in South Texas, was honored recently in ceremonies in Austin by the alumni of the leadership program, which is supported by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Since graduating from the program in 2004, Ring has assumed leadership positions in local, statewide and international efforts. In his county, he has been instrumental in developing the San Patricio County Groundwater Conservation District. He also is in line to become next year’s president of the San Patricio County Farm Bureau and is the agriculture representative for the Gulf Coast Regional Water Planning Group.

As the chairman of the Texas Corn Producers Research Committee, he has participated in meetings discussing aflatoxin testing and limits, and has presented reports to the U.S. Grains Council on the future of corn in Texas.

Ring was selected to serve on the U.S. Grain Council’s Asian Advisory Team and visited China and Japan for the U.S. Grains Council Corn Mission 2006, promoting corn export to those nations.

Last June, he was appointed to lead the council’s Asian Advisory Team, and he participated in a rural China corn survey in October.He also went to Vietnam in December for interviews with leaders of Asian countries concerning corn production and exports.

Ring has farmed for more than 30 years, growing mainly cotton, corn and grain sorghum, while experimenting with soybeans, onions, canola and sunflowers. He graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M with a degree in agronomy in 1977.