(Posted Tue. Aug 7th, 2012)

Aug. 7: During the U.S. Grains Council's 52nd Annual Board of Delegates meeting in Vancouver, Wash., members voted in a new slate of board of directors, selecting Don Fast as Chairman.


“We congratulate the new officers of the U.S. Grains Council and look forward to working with them to increase opportunities for U.S. corn farmers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “NCGA and the Council have historically enjoyed a productive, successful relationship, and these new officers will help us continue this legacy.”


Niemeyer addressed the delegates during the meeting with an update on the 2012 corn crop.  Noting the impacts of the drought, he pointed out the important role that an increase in planted acres will play in determining the eventual outcome of this year’s growing season. He vigorously stressed that, until the grain has been harvested and is in the bin, it is too early to accurately assess the size of this crop.


Addressing the conference, Fast said, "all of us understand that 95 percent of the world’s people live outside the United States, and that many of them are making great strides economically. Our world is getting smaller and our markets are getting bigger.


"That's the reality we face and that's what we've chosen as our theme for the coming year, 'Smaller World, Bigger Markets.' We have a lot of work to do, it will be a challenging year...but the strategic situation hasn't changed."


Fast is a certified seed grower, farming both an irrigated (flood and pivot) and dryland seed spring wheat and durum operation in Montana. He and his wife Sheila also raise sheep.


He received his degree in business from the University of Montana and went on to attend the U.S. Army Officers' Candidate School in Maryland. His military service was rewarded with several medals for participation in the Vietnam campaign, including the Bronze Star for meritorious service.


The 2012/2013 USGC Board of Directors includes:


• Don Fast, Chairman, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee
• Julius Schaaf, Vice Chairman, Iowa Corn Promotion Board
• Ron Gray, Secretary/Treasurer, Illinois Corn Marketing Board
• Wendell Shauman, Past Chairman, Illinois Corn Marketing Board
• Thomas Sleight, President, U.S. Grains Council
• Dave Lyons, Agribusiness Sector Director, Louis Dreyfus Commodities
• Mark Seastrand, Barley Sector Director, North Dakota Barley Council
• Chip Councell, Corn Sector Director, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board
• Bill Kubecka, Sorghum Sector Director, United Sorghum Checkoff Program
• Jere White, State Checkoff Sector Director, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association
• Jim Tobin, At-Large Director, Monsanto
• David Howell, At-Large Director, Indiana Corn Marketing Council