WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2016 – The board of directors of U.S. Wheat Associates has chosen Vince Peterson, currently USW’s president of overseas operations, as the organization’s next president, replacing Alan Tracy, who’s retiring in July.

Tracy has led USW, the wheat industry’s export market development organization, since 1997. USW noted that Peterson has spent his entire career in the grain trade and has been directing overseas marketing efforts for USW over the last 31 years. Peterson was elected in a unanimous vote at USW’s fall meeting last week in Denver.

“First I want to thank the board for their confidence in me following the great work that Alan has done leading this organization for the last 20 years,” Peterson told the farmer directors. “This day would not be possible for me without the work and support of all the overseas staff and my colleagues here in our U.S. offices. I want all of them and the board to know that I will do all I can to continue this organization’s strong service to American wheat farmers and their overseas customers.” 

In a release, USW Chairman Jason Scott, a wheat farmer from Easton, Maryland, said that protecting and expanding export demand for wheat has never been more critical than in the present market, where wheat prices are close to their lowest in a decade.

“The entire board believes that Vince Peterson is the right person at the right time to fill the president’s position after Alan retires,” Scott said, noting that the choice also represents a practical way to make the transition to a new CEO.

After Tracy informed the board in July 2016 of his intention to retire, Scott formed a search committee and appointed USW Past Chairman Brian O’Toole, from Crystal, North Dakota, as its chair.

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“During our initial meetings, the committee decided to focus the search for Alan’s replacement inside the wheat industry,” O’Toole said. “Vince expressed his interest in the position and it quickly became clear that he was the most qualified candidate with obvious respect across the entire wheat industry. The committee voted unanimously to recommend him to the directors, and they agreed with us.”

Tracy said he was pleased that Peterson had been selected to take his place.

“From the start of this process I expressed my hope that this would be a smooth transition,” Tracy said. “Vince has been one of my senior staff colleagues from the time I accepted this position in 1997 and I had no hesitation recommending him as my replacement… and I look forward to working with him and the board to make sure this organization doesn’t miss a beat.”


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