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U.S. Wheat vice president retires

After 34 years working around the world on behalf of U.S. wheat farmers, Rick Callies, U.S. Wheat Associates vice president of marketing programs, has retired effective Dec. 3. USW also promoted Jennifer Sydney to director of programs and planning as she assumes lead responsibility for coordinating team-based activities, customer training programs and special events in the United States.

"Rick has had a long and distinguished career with USW," USW President Alan Tracy said. "His departure will deprive us of his wealth of knowledge and inimitable sense of humor. He will be missed, but we wish him the best."

Callies joined Western Wheat Associates, one of the two USW legacy organizations, as a marketing specialist in 1978. He later worked as USW's assistant regional director for South Asia, based in Singapore, then opened USW's office in Beijing as the country director for China. Prior to joining USW, Callies worked at the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee as a marketing specialist. He has a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics/ag business from Montana State University and a political science certificate from Northern Montana College.

As manager of funding resources, Sydney helped prepare and submit USW's annual Unified Export Strategy proposal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service and manages compliance with FAS programs. In addition, she compiled USW's weekly harvest reports and annual crop quality reports. Sydney had similar responsibilities at the U.S. Grains Council before joining USW in 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in Asian Studies from the University of Colorado.

"Jennifer is well respected by her colleagues and our business partners," USW Vice President of Planning Jim Frahm said. "We are pleased to recognize her hard work and look forward to the valuable insight and experience she will bring to this new leadership role."

USW is the industry's market development organization working in more than 100 countries. Its mission is to "develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance the profitability of U.S. wheat producers and their customers." USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. USW maintains 17 offices strategically located around the world to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six classes of U.S. wheat.

Date: 1/7/2013


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