WASHINGTON — Mary K. Waters, president of the North American Millers’ Association, has been elected the first chairperson of the Department of Grain Science and Industry Advisory Council.

The council has been created to offer guidance to faculty, staff and students regarding the department’s teaching, research and outreach missions. Additionally, the group will offer support for a range of capacity building activities such as strategic planning and student recruitment, scholarship assistance and job placement, fundraising, and promotion of the department. David Krejci, executive vice-president of GEAPS, was elected vice-chairman.

Ms. Waters credited Dirk Maier, head of the department, with bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders in a process leading to the formal creation of the council.

“Dirk has sought input from a terrific group of grain industry leaders who are committed to the success of the grain industry,” she said. “I look forward to working with Dave and the others to help the department fulfill its mission of teaching, research and outreach.”

NAMA has enjoyed a long history of support for the department, including the creation of the NAMA Milling Science and Advisory Committee to regularly meet with faculty and students, funding a scholarship program and, most recently, funding the first NAMA instructor of milling.

Additionally, individual NAMA member companies and milling executives provide significant support to the department and its students. K.S.U. is the only university program in the United States that provides a degree program to teach the next generation of millers.

Ms. Waters has been president of NAMA since April 2010. Before that she was vice-president for corporate relations with the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. (Farmer Mac), for five years.

She also was an assistant secretary for congressional relations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and spent 15 years as senior director and legislative counsel in the Washington office of ConAgra Foods. She began her career in Washington as a legislative assistant on the staff of Representative Larry Hopkins of Kentucky.