At their recent annual winter meeting, the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors elected officers for 2002/03. The officials of the industry's market development organization will assume their new duties following the summer board meeting, which will be held in Oklahoma City at the end of July.

The same lineup was elected to lead the Wheat Export Trade Education Committee, the industry's trade advocacy organization.

Moving up the ladder to assume the chairmanship will be Jim McDonald, the current vice chairman. McDonald, a wheat grower from Idaho, brings extensive experience in the grain industry at the county, state and national levels. He has been involved in wheat organizations since 1964 when he first became active in the Idaho County Wheat Growers Association.

Alan Lee, currently USW secretary-treasurer, will become vice chairman. A third generation farmer from North Dakota, Lee represented farmers in the northwest district of the state on the North Dakota Wheat Commission from 1993 to 2001, chairing the commission since 1996. He serves on the executive committee of the North Dakota Ag Coalition and was previously on the wheat granting committee of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.

The newest addition to the officer lineup is Keith Kisling, a farmer from Burlington, Okla., who was unanimously elected as secretary-treasurer.

Kisling, a third generation farmer who taught vocational agriculture for four years before establishing his own farming operations in 1976, is vice president of Value Added Products (VAP), a closed cooperative with over 800 farmer-members. VAP operates the largest single-line dough plant in the United States. Kisling has served on a wide variety of agricultural and educational advisory boards.

The current chairman, Henry Jo Von Tungeln, will assume the duties of chairman of the USW budget committee when he steps down in July to become past chairman. Von Tungeln has received commendations and recognition for his contributions to Oklahoma agriculture from the Governor and the state legislature, and he was nominated for the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1998.

He is in his third consecutive 5-year term on the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, and is also in the leadership of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

U.S. Wheat Associates is the industry's export market development organization, working in over 100 countries on behalf of America's wheat growers.