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Willis named chair of U.S. Grains Council

The Minnesota corn grower has served on the board since 2017, helping to develop new export markets.

August 9, 2021

2 Min Read
corn being loaded into grain cart
ACCESS TO MARKETS: The U.S. Grains Council works to develop export markets in more than 50 countries and the European Union. Willmar, Minn., corn farmer Chad Willis was recently named chair of the council. Paula Mohr

For the next year, a Minnesota Corn grower-leader will lead the board of directors of a national grain-export organization.

Chad Willis, who farms near Willmar with his wife, Krista, is the new chairman of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) board. He was elected July 30 at USGC’s annual board of delegates meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

Chad Willis, chair, U.S. Grains Council

A member of the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) since 2007, Willis has been on the USGC board since 2017, where he has helped direct strategies to develop new trade markets. He previously was the board’s vice president and secretary-treasurer.

As a USGC board member, Willis’ priorities have included growing export partners, maintaining healthy relationships with current trade partners and expanding markets for ethanol-related operations.

In his incoming remarks, Willis says he was drawn to USGC because he needs dependable markets to sustain his farming operation.

“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,” he says.

He adds that value-added markets for ethanol and dried distillers grains with solubles must continue to be built.

“The value of global trade has so much potential if we work together to access them,” he says.

MCR&PC and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association have long supported USGC and its mission to develop markets for U.S. producers.

As a USGC member, Minnesota Corn receives access to strategic market information and intelligence from international offices, partnerships in foreign marketplaces and more, all of which helps increase grain exports.

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’s Hawkeye Gold unit, 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

The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. To learn more about USGC and its work, visit

Source: Minnesota Corn and the U.S. Grains Council, which are solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.



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