U.S. Wheat Associates
Oregon wheat farmer Darren Padget says the time was right for him to join the officer team of U.S. Wheat Associates.
His son is home on the farm and his wife supports him, Padget told the Capital Press.
“I’ve had the opportunity to host a few trade teams over the years, and I live in close proximity to Portland, two hours away,” he said. “So I’ve seen the work U.S. Wheat’s done firsthand, and had the opportunity to travel overseas with them on the Asian crop quality tour. I think it’s time well-spent.”
Padget will become U.S. Wheat secretary-treasurer at the organization’s June meeting in Seattle. U.S. Wheat is the overseas marketing arm of the industry.
Trade issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and North American Free Trade Agreement are top priorities, Padget said.
Padget said he is impressed with U.S. Wheat and its staff.
“There’s a lot of people that have been there for decades on behalf of the U.S. farmer,” he said. “It’s quite impressive.”
A fourth-generation farmer in Grass Valley, Ore., Padget keeps a dryland wheat and summer fallow rotation, producing registered and certified seed on 3,400 acres.
Padget previously held positions on the Oregon Wheat Growers League board of directors and executive committee for seven years, serving as president in 2010. He chaired the research and technology committee of the National Association of Wheat Growers and served on the Mid-Columbia Producers board of directors, and was an officer for 10 years.
Padget will go to South Korea with the Wheat Marketing Center in late March.
Also at the U.S. Wheat meeting in June, Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, will become vice chairman, and Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont., will become chairman. Current chairman Mike Miller, of Ritzville, Wash., will become past chairman.
“It’s just a good organization that not a lot of members understand completely how it works,” Padget said. He added with a chuckle, “I’ve got a lot to learn.”