Longtime soybean executive to head NAWG

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — Longtime soybean industry executive Jim Palmer has been named chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). The NAWG board of directors selected Mr. Palmer after a search process led by the NAWG officers and grower-leaders of the National Wheat Foundation, NAWG’s affiliated charitable organization.

Mr. Palmer officially will begin work with NAWG and the National Wheat Foundation on June 1, though he plans to meet with NAWG’s grower-leaders and staff throughout the month of May.

“Our farmer-leaders were very impressed with Jim’s experience and vision for the wheat industry, and we are excited to have him take the lead on the NAWG staff,” said Bing Von Bergen, NAWG’s president and a farmer from Moccasin, Mont., who also has served as NAWG’s interim c.e.o. since late February. “We are confident that under Jim’s leadership, NAWG will be able to face the challenges we have before us now in Washington and grow our industry well into the future.”

Mr. Palmer has worked in administrative roles for national and state agriculture organizations for the past 30 years, most of that time in the soybean industry. From 1997 until early 2012, he was the executive director for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Earlier in his career, he was involved in commercial agriculture credit and was the staff lead during the development of the United Soybean Board, the national soybean checkoff.

Since leaving Minnesota Soybean, he has worked as an independent management and development consultant with agriculture companies around the United States.

 “I am extremely proud to be selected to serve as NAWG’s next c.e.o.,” Mr. Palmer said. “The future will be bright for our wheat farmers working together, partnering with NAWG’s strong state organizations and our industry agribusiness friends, as well as other farm organizations. The bottom line is, I’m so eager to take on this new role at NAWG that I’ve mentally started already.”
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