WASHINGTON — Daren Coppock, chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers, on Oct. 2 announced his intent to step down from the association at the end of the year. He will become president and c.e.o. of the Agricultural Retailers Association (A.R.A.) as of Jan. 1, 2010.

Mr. Coppock joined NAWG in July 2001 after serving for five years as the executive vice-president of the Oregon Wheat Growers League. During his 8 years at the NAWG, the association made significant progress toward the introduction of biotech wheat; successfully defended the direct payment in the 2008 farm bill; and advanced discussions to ease rail transportation concerns.

In addition, Mr. Coppock helped oversee a renovation of the Wheat Growers Building, a facility the NAWG Foundation owns on Capitol Hill that houses the NAWG and four outside tenants.

Mr. Coppock will remain full time at NAWG through the end of October and work half-time at both the NAWG and the A.R.A. until Dec. 31. The NAWG has initiated a search for a new c.e.o.

"Our success has been very much a team effort," Mr. Coppock said. "Combining the D.C.-based talent with energetic and able people on our board, officer team and in our state affiliate organizations makes the wheat industry a serious presence in Washington. And, much of our progress has also come from stronger alliances with related organizations, both domestically and in other countries, which are critical to the industry’s continued success."