Wheat Growers CEO Palmer stepping down

By Spencer Chase

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WASHINGTON, March 28, 2016 - The National Association of Wheat Growers is looking for a new CEO. Jim Palmer, who's held the post since 2013, has announced he is resigning at the end of May.

In a release, Palmer said the time was right to step down.

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“I believe now is a great time for NAWG to have a CEO with different skill sets than mine,” Palmer said. He said he has “strongly recommended” the NAWG executive committee look for a replacement “with proven agriculture policy success as its top skill-set priority.

“While financial and staff management acumen are certainly necessary in any CEO position, top-level agriculture policy development and advocacy experience is very much needed by NAWG as we enter into negotiations for the next farm bill,” Palmer said. Policy and advocacy experience “would complement perfectly our current excellent advocacy and technical support staff,” he said.

NAWG President Gordon Stoner lauded Palmer's tenure, saying he has been a “tremendous and tireless advocate” for the wheat industry and its producers.

“While we certainly don't want him to leave NAWG, Jim made it very clear to our executive committee recently that he strongly desired to reduce or eliminate a majority of his professional and personal obligations to spend more quality time with his far-flung family,” Stoner said. “Our entire officer team is very understanding and supportive of Jim's personal decision.”

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Stoner added that the organization's “strong financial position and excellent staff will serve as Jim's legacy” and that he appreciated Palmer's commitment to a “smooth transition.”

Palmer will remain CEO until May 31, and a search for a new CEO will begin immediately. Palmer will be receiving the resumes, but will not serve on the search committee for his replacement.

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